US Navy’s “Green Strike Force”: A Blossoming Initiative

9 12 2011

We hear talk about biofuels within political debates and media specials.  Now, about how often you hear about sustainable fuels in the context of our ruggad, die-hard military and defense departments? If you ask me, they don’t exactly seem like the most ecologically-minded bunch.

navy, green strike force, biofuel, algae

Looking to lower their ecological footprint, the US Navy is creating a “Green Task Force” through purchasing half a million gallons of biofuel. They plan to meet a portion of the energy demandwithin their jet and carrier fleet. As an added and noteworthy bonus, this move also supports American jobs and economic vitatlity on our home soil. Most of the ordered fuels are made from re-processed cooking oil while many are algae-based.

Their over-arching hope is to meet their goal of 50% alternative, homegrown fuels by 2020.

The implications of this partnership could be various and extensive. Partnering with American clean fuel producers could help our nation secure energy security. The Navy relies on unstable, rogue nations for fuel and this provides perverse implications to our national secity. Moreover, these fossil fuels are subject to extreme price volatility, putting the Navy’s budget at risk. Biofuels, however, are produced domestically and do not exhibit that price volatility. Adding these renewable fuels into their diversified portfolio acts as a hedge against price risk.

Now this is blossoming relationship in which I want to keep up to date!

Good for National Defense – Good for Civilians.

6 10 2011

When I think national defense, several images emerge: the war in Iraq, drug cartels and shanty-towns along the Mexican border and

The Secretary of Navy, Roy Mabus, recently spoke at a Mississippi State University biofuel conference. He lauded their MSU Energy Institute’s conference and research on emerging biofuel technologies.

The navy and our National Defense is extremely interested in biofuels. Why? Our military branch budget takes a brutal hit whenever a barrel of oil rises. Given the volatile nature that surrounds foreign sources of energy and fossil fuels, it makes sense that they are more attracted to stable, reliable and local fuel sources.

So why biofuels? It’s pretty simple, actually. Given that the majority of our petroleum comes from rogue, unpredictable nations, the price of oil is extremely sensitive to geo-politics, causing price unpredictability as a result of supply shocks.

 (Photo: MSU)

Therefore, that’s why the Secretary of Navy is touting biofuels — to protect the military’s budget against price volatility. Moreover, diversifying the navy’s fuel portfolio will also be another way to support our local, national economy.

Since the national defense feels so strongly about American biofuels, a lot of people think that mainstream society should, too (including myself!). And although as individuals we don’t provide the national defense that the Navy performs on a daily basis, each purchase and fill-up at the pump does, and can, make an aggregate difference to our National Security.