Navy Biofuel Investment Defended

Navy Times
Tuesday, March 13, 2012

US Navy Secretary rejects claim that Navy focus on building ships not alternative fuels

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus defended the service’s investment on biofuels Monday, saying that it is a “false choice” for critics to suggest the Navy should focus on building more ships instead of finding alternative fuels to power them.

Some Republicans in Congress are upset the Navy is spending money on expensive alternative fuels when several ships are being retired earlier than planned in an effort to cut costs.

The Navy, Department of Energy and Agriculture Department are spending $510 million to jump start commercial development of the advanced alternative fuels industry. By 2016, the Navy wants obtain 8 million barrels of biofuel to power a strike group that’s being dubbed the “Great Green Fleet.” It has already demonstrated that alternative fuels can work in some of its planes and ships without having to change out their engines.

The Navy wants the alternative fuel it purchases for that fleet to be available at prices that are competitive with conventional petroleum fuels. Mabus acknowledged that biofuels aren’t that inexpensive yet, but said that investment by the Navy would make it affordable because of how much fuel the service consumes.

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