Energy Costs Rising Despite Reduced Consumption

Despite decreasing fuel consumption and electricity use, the Air Force’s energy costs are rising, stated Terry Yonkers, assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment, and logistics, on Capitol Hill last week. The service spent more than $9.7 billion in Fiscal 2011 for approximately 2.5 billion gallons of aviation fuel and more than 64 trillion British thermal units of installation energy, Yonkers told a House oversight panel on March 29. That’s $1.5 billion more than in Fiscal 2010, despite the fact that aviation fuel use decreased in Fiscal 2011 by more than 50 million gallons and facility energy consumption declined by 2 trillion BTUs, he said. Rising expenditures for aviation fuel—they went from $6.8 billion in Fiscal 2010 to $8.3 billion in Fiscal 2011—drove the cost hike, said Yonkers. “Fuel costs have increased 225 percent over the past decade and we are expecting them to continue to rise in the future,” he said. In fact, they are projected “to exceed $9 billion next year,” he said. (Yonkers’ prepared testimony)