As more studies increasingly show that energy independence and climate change will play a major role in the future of national security, some believe the U.S. military holds the key to the future of clean energy.
A recent New York Times article quoted Navy Secretary Ray Mabus as saying that the U.S. Navy uses 1% of the energy that the entire country uses, a staggering amount considering the size of the Navy is one-tenth of a percent of the size of the entire country.
As a result of this, Mabus told the Times, “Within 10 years, the United States Navy will get one half of all its energy needs, both afloat and onshore, from non-fossil fuel sources. America and the Navy rely too much on fossil fuels. It makes the military, in this case our Navy and Marine Corps, far too vulnerable to some sort of disruption.”
Mabus also pointed out that a recent hybrid ship, known as the Makin Island, was produced last year and saved an estimated US$2 million in fuel costs on a trip from Mississippi to California.
In addition to the Times’ report, a new report from the CNA Advisory Board echoed the fact that increasing America's dependence on fossil fuels will not only be damaging to the economy, but it will deprive the military of vital resources which are necessary to keep the United States safe in the future. The U.S. Department of Defense released a report earlier this year making the same claims.
Mabus says that the Navy will continue to work on new technology to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels by half over the next 10 years, a remarkable achievement if attained. From there, the technology that is developed for the military could quickly spread to the private sector.
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