A proposal by the US Marine Corps to exchange propane tanks for the Marine Corps Exchange Program (MEP) has been rejected by the agency’s board of directors, according to documents filed this week.
The MEP program is aimed at allowing the military to import oil from abroad for use on military equipment, but the US has been slow to respond to the surge of domestic oil production, prompting concerns that the program will be left with little room for innovation and innovation could take a toll on its military.
The proposal was originally proposed by the Marine division of the Defense Department in September.
The proposal received the support of several members of the board, including Rep. Don Beyer, who chairs the subcommittee that oversees the military.
It also received the backing of Rep. Adam Smith, who represents the state of Washington, which has the nation’s largest oil reserves.
The Defense Department is working to modernize its stockpile of propane by buying more propane, and the MEP would have allowed the Corps to use the surplus propane for its own propane refineries.
But that effort has been delayed by the administration’s decision to abandon a program to buy US oil imports from Russia and other nations.
“The MPA [program] proposal does not meet our needs, and will not help the MPA,” the Marine corps division’s director, Captain Thomas Foye, wrote in an August memo.
Foye wrote that the MPS “does not meet the MFP requirements, and is not able to help meet the requirements of the MDP [mission requirements].”
The MFP requires that military personnel work at least eight hours per day and have two months of basic training per year.
The program also was designed to allow the Corps “to purchase propane from foreign countries that do not export the same quality or quantity of propene as is found in the United States,” according to Foy, who also wrote that it was a “procedural and technical change” that would not impact the Corps’ current supply.
A spokesperson for the Army said the Army “will not be purchasing propane and will continue to work closely with the Corps” to improve the program.
A spokesperson for Lockheed Martin told Ars that it would not be making any changes to the MOP.
“In order to maintain the current military capabilities, we cannot purchase propene from foreign sources,” the spokesperson wrote.
“However, our current production capability allows us to purchase propylene from many foreign sources, including from Russia, Turkey, and Iraq.”
The Marine Corps has been able to buy propane at a lower price than other nations because it’s cheaper to import the fuel than it is to export it.
The Marines have been able import propane domestically, but it costs them an extra $30,000 per month for each tank of propanes.
The Marine Corps also uses propane to make diesel engines, and it’s estimated that the fuel can cost the Corps more than $2,000 annually to maintain its propane stockpiles.
The Marine Corp’s MOP proposal has faced opposition from the American Petroleum Institute, which contends that the price tag would make it more difficult for the Corps, which is the only federal agency with a reserve of oil, to buy the fuel domestically.
“Mep will require the Marine Corp to buy foreign oil to meet its MDP requirements and will be costly to maintain,” the American Public Energy Alliance said in a statement this week after the Marine proposal was rejected.
“We will continue our opposition to this program until we have the MMP.”