Great Green Fleet: The U.S. Navy and Fossil-Fuel Alternatives   [open pdf - 161KB]

"Though its 300,000 barrels per day represents less than 2 percent of total American oil consumption, the Defense Department is the single largest consumer in the country. Of the services, at least 25 percent is allocated to the Navy, the second largest service consumer. The Army and Air Force have their own 'green' energy initiatives, but this article focuses on the Navy's diverse and important measures to tackle the problem of fossil-fuel dependence. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus's October 2009 energy vision addresses the Navy's mission areas at sea, ashore, and in the air. In the transformative spirit of the Great White Fleet, it envisions a 'Great Green Fleet,' made up of nuclear carriers, hybrid electric biofueled surface ships, and biofueled aircraft, supported by shore-based installations that run largely off renewable electricity. In spite of budget efficiency reviews and realignments in 2010, the Navy is pressing ahead with energy projects. This article makes two basic arguments. First, the U.S.Navy is engaged in what appears to be a serious move away from oil dependence. The American military is not generally viewed as a bastion of environmentally conscious innovation - quite the contrary. The popular idea is that the military tends to be conservative and not progressive; for their part, specialists in national security and world affairs tend not to think of the U.S.Navy as seeking novel ways to decrease oil dependence. They are more likely to view it as expending oil copiously and without great concern for the implications of doing so."

2011 Alaina M. Chambers and Steve A. Yetiv
Retrieved From:
Naval War College Review: http://www.usnwc.edu
Media Type:
Naval War College Review (Summer 2011), v.64 no.3, p.61-77
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