While Congress wants to curb the Navy’s energy initiatives, the service is on the offensive & advocates the long-term cost savings that green efforts will reap
Speaking at awards ceremonies recently at the United States Naval Memorial in Washington, D.C., senior officers and civilian officials said new energy initiatives will reduce defense spending without sacrificing capabilities.
“Taking the long view is really important,” said Monica Medina, a special assistant to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta responsible for energy and environmental matters. Cutting costs and increasing efficiencies through environmental and energy programs is a priority in the secretary’s office and for the Navy, she said.
Her comments came after Senate and House committees voted in May against the Navy’s biofuel plans. Congressional Republicans have argued that the fuels are too expensive — four to five times the cost of traditional fuels — particularly when there are defense spending cuts looming.
The House Armed Services Committee recently voted to prohibit the Navy from using biofuels for any purpose. The Navy’s policy calls for buying operational quantities of alternative fuels, but not until the costs are comparable to fossil fuels.