U.S. Navy showcases green fleet

July 16, 2012 at 9:30 AM

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan, July 16 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy aims to move ahead with its green fleet initiative despite opposition from some U.S. lawmakers, the Navy secretary said Monday.

The Navy is gearing up for an exercise in the Pacific Rim this week that would showcase its use of biofuels. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said the reliance on foreign oil was one of the largest vulnerabilities facing the U.S. military.

"We're not doing this for environmental reasons, we're not doing it because it's a good thing to do," he told Stars and Stripes. "We're doing it to remove ... one of the biggest vulnerabilities I see for us as a military and as a nation."

U.S. President Barack Obama said advancing biofuels would contribute to U.S. energy security plans. The United States lacks the manufacturing capabilities to take full advantage of the alternative fuel, however.

The U.S. Departments of Defense and Agriculture have announced plans to invest more than $500 million on domestic biofuels.

U.S. lawmakers in May inserted language into a 2013 defense authorization bill that would prohibit the Pentagon from purchasing alternative fuels. Lawmakers said funding green technology would take money from conventional defense measures.

Stars and Stripes, the official, although independent, newspaper of the U.S. military, reports that the Navy spent about $27 per gallon for the fuel used for Pacific Rim demonstrations.

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