When the Navy put a Pacific fleet through maneuvers on a $12 million cocktail of biofuels this summer, it proved that warships could actually operate on diesel from algae or chicken fat.
“It works in the engines that we have, it works in the aircraft that we have, it works in the ships that we have,” said Ray Mabus, secretary of the Navy. “It is seamless.”
The still-experimental fuels are also expensive — about $27 a gallon for the fuel used in the demonstration, compared with about $3.50 a gallon for conventional military fuels.
... The naval demonstration — known as the Great Green Fleet — was part of a $510 million three-year, multiagency program to help the military develop alternatives to conventional fuel
... In 2009, the Pentagon spent roughly $424 a gallon on algae oil from Solazyme.
... The Defense Department is also running several demonstration projects on its bases, testing ways to produce and distribute electricity better. And the Army recently put out a request for proposals for $7 billion in renewable energy projects, part of reaching its goal of getting a gigawatt of its electricity — enough to power roughly 250,000 American homes — from renewable sources by 2025.
In Congress, there is little apparent opposition to the overall military push toward renewable power generation or energy efficiency.
But the biofuel program has struck a nerve among Republicans who, ever since the government’s failed investment in the solar panel maker Solyndra, have been wasting few opportunities to hammer their message that the government should not risk taxpayer money to bolster favored technologies.
Representative Mike Conaway, a Texas Republican who introduced House legislation that would limit biofuel purchasing and production and has been critical of the Great Green Fleet, said Democrats were using the military to pursue an environmental agenda. “We just want to require the Department of Defense to do exactly what every other American does when they buy fuel: they try to get the best price they can,” he said.
OBAMA IS WASTING MONEY AND PERVERTING THE PURPOSE OF OUR MILITARY.
VOTE ACCORDINGLY. VOTE ROMNEY-RYAN.