The USDA and the Department of the Navy (DoN) have agreed to work together to develop advanced biofuels and other renewable energy systems.
This USDA press release says the agreement is part of the government’s plan to build a clean energy economy, create new jobs and reduce American dependence on foreign oil, while building a strike force that will run on green power in the near future:
Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus emphasized how partnering with USDA supports his vision for energy reform. Mabus’ overarching goal is to increase warfighting capability. “In order to secure the strategic energy future of the United States, create a more nimble and effective fighting force, and protect our planet from destabilizing climate changes, I have committed the Navy and Marine Corps to meet aggressive energy targets that go far beyond previous measures.”
From a strategic perspective the objective is to reduce reliance on fossil fuels from volatile areas of the world. Tactically, on the battlefield, the costs of transporting fuel is exponentially increased; in extreme cases a gallon of gasoline could cost up to $400. Mabus continued “Even more serious and sobering, we are putting our Sailors and Marines in harms way as fuel convoys often meet a lethal enemy.”
In two years, the Navy wants to have a Green Strike Group composed of nuclear vessels and ships powered by biofuel and a Great Green Fleet that has nuclear ships, surface combatants equipped with hybrid electric alternative power systems running on biofuel, and aircraft running on biofuel by 2016.