Comprehensive approach is the only way to control gas prices
by Rep Colleen Hanabusa, The Hill
As President Obama announced in his State of the Union Address, the Navy and Marine Corps have set a goal of producing fifty percent of their energy needs from alternative sources by 2020, with a target of obtaining one Gigawatt of new, renewable energy at Naval installations across the country. The services will lead the nation in the wide-scale deployment of alternative energy installations, establishing not only our national commitment to non-petroleum energy sources, but also demonstrating the feasibility of applying alternative strategies to varied energy demands.
In addition, the Department of the Navy has joined with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Energy in an effort to develop direct replacement biofuels that meet military specifications, at a price that is competitive with petroleum-based fuels. The Department of Defense is the world’s largest consumer of oil. As important as gas prices are to American drivers, small increases in oil prices have tremendous effect on military budgets, with the Navy estimating that a one-dollar increase in the price of a barrel of oil represents an additional expense of $30 million annually.
The Navy, USDA, and DOE will directly invest up to $510 million to the project; funds from the private sector will be matched one-to-one, bringing the total capital available to over $1 billion. The services envision running ships and aircraft on a 50-50 blend of biofuels and traditional fossil fuels. The Navy has already demonstrated the concept with several aircraft, including an F-18 fighter, an MV-22 Osprey, and a T-45 training jet.
The Navy’s commitment reflects its understanding that for our armed services, as for our nation’s drivers and our population at large, America’s dependence on foreign oil represents both economic and foreign policy consequences, which are only getting worse with time.
America’s vision for our energy future must extend beyond the next gas pump, and beyond next summer. (This is code for no more drilling in the USA.)
read … Hanabusa