The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energy and National Security

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted October 14, 2009

How do you define the expression "energy security?" To many people, it means having a secure supply of energy to support the American way of life--ample gasoline for the car, heat for the home, and chemicals to make products used in households and hospitals throughout the United States.

For the U.S. military, energy security means having the ability to protect and defend the nation. To that end, the military maintains the integrity of fuel supply lines, seeks to improve energy efficiency, protects the electrical grid that powers military installations, and works toward increasing the use and availability of alternative fuels, including fuels derived from Canadian oil sands.

According to the U.S. Navy's Energy Program, the Department of Defense is the largest government and individual petroleum user in the United States, consuming about 330,000 barrels of oil a day. The U.S. Navy consumes about 100,000 barrels of oil per day, the Air Force uses about 200,000 barrels a day and the Army consumes about 30,000 barrels per day. This oil powers the nation's ships, jetfighters, humvees and tanks--and supplies the energy needs of our men and women in uniform.

The U.S. Navy is holding its 2009 Naval Energy Forum today and tomorrow. If you're interested in the relationship between energy security and national security, you can watch the conference online.


Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.