With the failure of the climate bill — and the grim prospects of pushing a new one through anytime soon — it's clear that Congress doesn't view clean energy as a priority. Good thing the military isn't paying attention.
In a new NYT op-ed, Thomas Friedman discusses the push to wean the Navy and Marine Corps off of fossil fuels and onto renewable power. Headed by Ray Mabus, President Obama’s secretary of the Navy, the green strategy is based in part on a recent study that found that one U.S. soldier is killed or wounded for every 24 fuel convoys that run in in Afghanistan.
Mabus's position is as obvious as it is irrefutable: the best way to avoid a roadside bomb is to not have vehicles on the road. That means replacing diesel generators with renewable power, and building more energy efficient structures at far-flung bases.
But the strategy runs further than that. Mabus is pushing for Navy and Marine Corps ships that run on nuclear energy, biofuels and hybrid engines, and jets powered by bio-fuels. That program is well underway.
Here lies the irony. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, driven in no small part by our addiction to oil, may help accelerate the shift to clean, renewable power.
Read the article here.
Photo: The "Green Hornet," an F/A-18 Super Hornet ighter jet powered by a 50/50 biofuel blend, takes off on test flight on April 22, 2010. (Kelly Schindler/U.S. Navy)