USN Sails Away from Fossil Fuels

United States Navy Secretary Ray Mabus comments on the Navy’s successful history of switching energy sources:

In the 1850s, we went from sail to coal. In the early 19th century, we went from coal to oil, and in the 1950s, we pioneered nuclear.

Every single time, there were people that said, “Can’t do it. You’re changing one very certain means of transportation for one that is not that certain,” and every time, those naysayers were wrong.

We just launched the first hybrid ship. A big ship, a big deck amphibious ship. Built in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Went around South America to its home port in San Diego. Saved $2 million in fuel costs, first voyage.

Secretary Mabus is referring to The USS Makin Island, a $2.5-billion Wasp class amphibious assault ship. The ship saved 900,000 gallons of fuel on its maiden cruise because of a first-of-its-kind mating of gas turbine engines and electric motors. “We’re like a big hybrid car” said the ship’s captain.

The USS Makin Island Underway

Secretary Mabus spoke at the National Clean Energy Summit 4.0 in August, 2011 where he commented further on the strategic and tactical reasons for moving away from fossil fuels. He expanded into other aspects of changing the way the Navy uses and produces energy too.

Get the full text of his remarks here. Watch Secretary Mabus make his now often quoted connection to military casualties with the price we pay for fuel in the video segment below:

"For every 50 convoys of gasoline we bring in, we lose a Marine. We lose a Marine, killed or wounded. That is too high a price to pay for fuel."

Go Navy!

Quote Source: energyNOW!

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