The Navy’s “Great Green Fleet” sets sail

posted at 3:01 pm on July 3, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

Okay, just to establish the lay of the land here: Ever since last summer’s embarrassment of a budget deal, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has warned that the pending automatic cuts to the Defense budget would be ‘disasterous.’

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta pleaded with Congress Wednesday to avoid the disaster of automatic defense cuts even as he criticized lawmakers’ affection for protecting aging ships and aircraft.

Ramping up the pressure, Panetta and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, painted a bleak picture of the military and its power if the across-the-board reductions, known as “sequestration,” go into effect beginning Jan. 2.

The Pentagon would face cuts of about $500 billion in projected spending over 10 years on top of the $492 billion that President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans already agreed to in last summer’s deficit-cutting budget.

Dempsey said the cuts would mean fewer troops, the possible cancellation of major weapons and the disruption of operations around the world.

That definitely doesn’t sound good, and it’s infuriating that we’re going after the military’s budget (they’re only the people who keep us safe, no big deal or anything) before even trying to make a dent in our unsustainable entitlement explosion.

However, if the Pentagon is worried about being forced to operate within more limited means… why in the heck have Pentagon officials been pushing for a “green fleet” that requires biofuels that are 700% more expensive than conventional fuel?

In its tanks, the USNS Henry J. Kaiser carried nearly 900,000 gallons of biofuel blended with petroleum to power the cruisers, destroyers and fighter jets of what the Navy has taken to calling the “Great Green Fleet,” the first carrier strike group to be powered largely by alternative fuels.

Conventionally powered ships and aircraft in the strike group will burn the blend in an operational setting for the first time this month during the 22-nation Rim of the Pacific exercise, the largest annual international maritime warfare maneuvers. …

Some Republican lawmakers have seized on the fuel’s $26-a-gallon price, compared to $3.60 for conventional fuel. They paint the program as a waste of precious funds at a time when the U.S. government’s budget remains severely strained, the Pentagon is facing cuts and energy companies are finding big quantities of oil and gas in the United States.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, the program’s biggest public booster, calls it vital for the military’s energy security.

Ahh yes, energy security — according to Secretary Mabus, the reason we’re doing this “is that we simply buy too many fossil fuels from either actually or potentially volatile places on earth.” …Hmmmm, I wonder how we could both lessen our energy dependence on unfriendly or unstable foreign sources, and avoid spending $26 a pop on fuel made out of chicken fat, seeds, and algae oil, while creating productive private-sector jobs and economic growth? Anyone?

And apparently, merely powering the Great Green Fleet isn’t all the Obama administration is doing to push for green energy within the military’s ranks. On Monday, they announced that they’re getting ready to drop another $62 million for two more biofule R&D programs:

The Navy, Department of Agriculture and Department of Energy (DOE) will offer $30 million in matching funds to support “drop-in” biofuel research and development, an Energy spokesman told the press Monday.

DOE also will contribute $32 million to a separate initiative for “early-stage, pre-commercial investments” in biofuel technology. …

Large-scale adoption of that substitute fuel could help reduce the use of diesel and jet fuels in military and commercial transportation operations, DOE says. Funding for the drop-in effort comes from the Defense Production Act, which aims to boost national security through fostering domestic energy production.

Again, heaven forbid that we foster domestic energy production by allowing ourselves to drill for traditional fuel sources that wouldn’t require the federal government to “invest” taxpayer money and would instead permit us to take advantage of our own already-proven resources.


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This is insanity.

tom daschle concerned on July 3, 2012 at 3:03 PM

$26.50/gal.

………………..All Aboard!!
(sarc).

canopfor on July 3, 2012 at 3:07 PM

I’m assuming that this is Obamuh’s 5 Year Plan for the military.

Onward, Comrades!

OhEssYouCowboys on July 3, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Oh, these idiots!

esnap on July 3, 2012 at 3:09 PM

$26 / Gallon…

And just a small tax for not using it.

It’s all about behavior..

Electrongod on July 3, 2012 at 3:09 PM

This is insanity.

tom daschle concerned on July 3, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Actually, it’s crazier than that.

right of the dial on July 3, 2012 at 3:09 PM

This make’s absolute perfect sense. Since the Republicans don’t want to spend billions on all of the pet green projects that the left wants, ie: Solyndra, BeaconPower, etc., they figure it will be much easier to keep the racket alive and well by discretely laundering green money via the military, which in their mind, is our cash cow.

What?! No more DOE energy investments? What’s George Kaiser to do? Ah, yes, of course! Mandate green diarrhea spending via the Navy.

preallocated on July 3, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Rational thinking went out the door years ago. Don’t expect prices for these new fuels to EVER be affordable – not with the military/government involved. Just look at how defense contractors gouge the government for the most mundane of products.

Hill60 on July 3, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Some Republican lawmakers have seized on the fuel’s $26-a-gallon price, compared to $3.60 for conventional fuel. They paint the program as a waste of precious funds at a time when the U.S. government’s budget remains severely strained

They “seized on” the $26/Gln cost to “paint” the program as a waste of money?

forest on July 3, 2012 at 3:10 PM

I am really surprised that they haven’t decided to put long electric cords all over the world to plug the fleet into on the electric batteries?

Gads, my head hurts at the beyond stupid no brains in dc, the whole blooming bunch!
L

letget on July 3, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Eco-nuts need to be placed in camps.

Big Orange on July 3, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Ya know, a solar powered aircraft carrier is gonna be one helluva weapons platform, during the day.

/

OhEssYouCowboys on July 3, 2012 at 3:12 PM

I am seeing RED!

bopbottle on July 3, 2012 at 3:12 PM

This is why we will never make serious cuts to our federal budget or succeed in stemming the tide of our national debt crisis. Because every side has their things that are so sacrosanct that they cannot be touched under any circumstances.

I want to see our military have appropriate resources too. But I’ve said for years that the only way to successfully cut the federal budget is to pick a number — 5%, 10%, 15%, whatever — and cut that much across the board. Every agency, every department, every branch. No exceptions.

The moment you start picking and choosing, even for something as important as the military, the moment you lose. Because every single person has their own pet constituency they want to protect.

Shump on July 3, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Guess we’ll leave all that ‘nasty’ oil in the ground and have our businesses purchase fuels costing 7 times as much.

That should really help the bottom line and induce hiring. Just think how competitive our businesses will be in the world market!

GarandFan on July 3, 2012 at 3:14 PM

I am fine with this, as a limited experiment. Try it out on a few ships with gas turbines just to figure out if it works in a variety of conditions.

However, if this is a plan to run our fleet on bio diesel, it is idioticx

jpmn on July 3, 2012 at 3:15 PM

You’ll get my approval when Air Force 1 is fueled by chicken scraps and rotten grass.

Not good enough for AF1? Not good enough for anything.

BobMbx on July 3, 2012 at 3:16 PM

OhEssYouCowboys on July 3, 2012 at 3:12 PM

And the solar submarine – they’ll never see it coming!

tomg51 on July 3, 2012 at 3:16 PM

However, if the Pentagon is worried about being forced to operate within more limited means… why in the heck have Pentagon officials been pushing for a “green fleet” that requires biofuels that are 700% more expensive than conventional fuel?
===========================================

ProgTard Superiorority Superior Smart Power!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

canopfor on July 3, 2012 at 3:16 PM

And the solar submarine – they’ll never see it coming!

tomg51 on July 3, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Great post. Thanks for the laugh.

OhEssYouCowboys on July 3, 2012 at 3:18 PM

I am really surprised that they haven’t decided to put long electric cords all over the world to plug the fleet into on the electric batteries?

Gads, my head hurts at the beyond stupid no brains in dc, the whole blooming bunch!
L

letget on July 3, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Wait till they drop a billion or two on research for wind-powered ships.

Oh..wait……

BobMbx on July 3, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Hmmmm, I wonder how we could both lessen our energy dependence on unfriendly or unstable foreign sources, and avoid spending $26 a pop on fuel made out of chicken fat, seeds, and algae oil, while creating productive private-sector jobs and economic growth? Anyone?

Dear Erika…now that you mention it, a few light bulbs came on in my head.

1. Build the Keystone XL pipeline so that we can buy oil from a friendly source such as Canada, with whom we share a 3,000-mile unguarded border.

2. Use ships powered by nuclear reactors, whose fuel can be enriched domestically.

3. Allow American companies to drill for oil in the Gulf of Mexico, so that we don’t have to buy it from Brazil, Venezuela, or Cuba (the latter two countries aren’t very friendly).

4. Build ships and other military vehicles that can be powered by liquefied natural gas, and pipelines that can ship natural gas from abundant fields in Pennsylvania to military ports in the Chesapeake Bay for refueling.

Gee, four ideas in five minutes! I’m sure Erika could have thought of these herself, but this is for the benefit of Secretary Panetta–all of these ideas cost less than $26 per gallon!

Steve Z on July 3, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Wow. Just plain wow.

If ever there was a non-denominational issue this has to be it.

It doesn’t matter what party you affiliate with, this is insane. $26/gallon?!? really?!?!

KMC1 on July 3, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Gawd,could you imagine WW2,

Japanese Patrol boats,reports in:

“We have found green slime residue,yup,American warships have just transited this Island chain,tell Command to keep an eye for a trail
of green goo ooze”!!
(snark).

canopfor on July 3, 2012 at 3:20 PM

BobMbx on July 3, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Yes! The USS Constitution will be the flagship of our blue green water navy!

OhEssYouCowboys on July 3, 2012 at 3:21 PM

And the solar submarine – they’ll never see it coming!

tomg51 on July 3, 2012 at 3:16 PM

tomg51:Lol:)

The USS SolarShark,

All hands battlestations and Solar Panel Removal/Repacking Crew
to your assigned positions!

Captain,the solar panels are taking longer than anticipated,
should we leave them up,its gonna leave a hell of a wake,till
we reach dive depth…..and……(snark)

canopfor on July 3, 2012 at 3:24 PM

war and defense is about an overwhelming show of strength and power, then, if that doesn’t work, about blowing things up-a lot. oh and killing and stuff.

leaving a lot of dead things as mulch and fertilizer- that’s sort of ‘green’, isn’t it? circle of life, after all… and their side is always bitching about a population problem…

who didn’t think king barry was going to lead us to a constitutional crisis and attacks on our Republic from within but also going to open us up to attack from outside? the weakest yet most tyrannical president in american history? even the nazis ultimately could not destroy france and they took over half the country. now we’re engaged in trying to save our country from itself- and no one is going to defend our republic from outside. we’ve handed our country into the hands of the enemy of our free will- and that enemy is ourselves.

mittens on July 3, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Once you reconcile that 1+1=POTATO, the rest is easy.

jukin3 on July 3, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Idea for Obama campaign:

Photo op of Obama in a tank powered by several small wind turbins (think Ramirez cartoon)

sdbatboy on July 3, 2012 at 3:28 PM

Too bad the fleet just can’t run on algae LOL

This Administration is simply just stuck on stupid.

shanimal on July 3, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Why not use wind power — use sailboats. Oh, and rather than mine the earth for iron, let’s use renewable trees — yes, go back to 18th Century technology.

rbj on July 3, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, the program’s biggest public booster, calls it vital for the military’s energy security.

Let’s not forget that Mabus is the same guy that gave us the USS Gabrielle Giffords and the USS John Murtha. The most disappointing SECNAV I’ve ever seen. Makes me glad that I retired in 2000.

Erika, continue the good work!

RMCS_USN on July 3, 2012 at 3:31 PM

The Green Fleet.

/’see, we’re just like Franklin [sic] Roosevelt, and his White Fleet’

Somebody check and see if the White House staff has stupidly added that line to FDR’s official bio page.

rayra on July 3, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Green, as in Islam flag’s green? I think I’m onto something here.

Archivarix on July 3, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Let’s not forget that Mabus is the same guy that gave us the USS Gabrielle Giffords and the USS John Murtha. The most disappointing SECNAV I’ve ever seen. Makes me glad that I retired in 2000.

RMCS_USN on July 3, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Don’t forget the fleet supply ship USS Cesar Chavez. AND the cargo ship USS Medgar Evers. Just one socialist POS after another.

rayra on July 3, 2012 at 3:35 PM

God forbid our bloated and moribund defense department suffer some cuts!!!

Yeah, this green fuel nonsense is asinine, but lets not pretend the military can’t take a $1 trillion cut *spread over the next 10 years*. If we can’t cut that, we can’t cut anything.

Aquateen Hungerforce on July 3, 2012 at 3:36 PM

I read this article and didn’t see anywhere a mention of whether this “green fleet” can also burn regular fuel in addition to biodiesel. If the ships have converted diesel engines and can’t easily switch between the fuels then this is reckless as well as financial madness. We certainly don’t want Naval personnel stuck somewhere in a war zone because we can’t easily refuel the algae/chicken fat/etc. blend.

Jill1066 on July 3, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Maybe BAIN CAPITAL could take over the Navy and it’s fleet?

Look what they’ve done for another retailer (from the TOP 100 retailers list just released).

Michaels (craft supplies) is controlled by Blackstone Group and Bain Capital, and earlier this year filed notice of its intentions to return to public ownership, though no date for the initial public offering (IPO) was announced. Blackstone and Bain, along with Highfields Capital Partners, took over the company in 2006; since then, the retailer has added more than 160 stores to give it close to 1,100 locations in the United States and Canada. Michaels has also increased both sales and earnings in the process.

ANCHORS AWEIGH!!!

All aboard for profitability?…….The Bain Navy!

PappyD61 on July 3, 2012 at 3:37 PM

When is all of this madness going to end…?

Seven Percent Solution on July 3, 2012 at 3:40 PM

INSANITY they name is Obama.

clippermiami on July 3, 2012 at 3:44 PM

When is all of this madness going to end…?

Seven Percent Solution on July 3, 2012 at 3:40 PM

I’ve quit assuming that it will … or can.

:O(

OhEssYouCowboys on July 3, 2012 at 3:44 PM

This Green Navy fuel stuff is a good idea (so Obama Claims) but it obviously doesn’t go far enough. So this is what I propose.

An Electrical Vehicle Mandate for Washington DC.

SWalker on July 3, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Ahh yes, energy security — according to Secretary Mabus, the reason we’re doing this “is that we simply buy too many fossil fuels from either actually or potentially volatile places on earth.”

Goodness! We certainly wouldn’t want the Navy going to any “volatile places”!

Fabozz on July 3, 2012 at 3:48 PM

ANCHORS AWEIGH!!!

All aboard for profitability?…….The Bain Navy!

PappyD61 on July 3, 2012 at 3:37 PM

PappyD61:(ANCHORS AWEIGH!!),oh gawd too funny,this must be a
remake,of the USS Roberts,WW2 Comedy movie flick,
accept,this one is BOINKING over American Taxpayers!:)

canopfor on July 3, 2012 at 3:51 PM

“Scotty…I need the main engines now!”

“But Cap’n….I canno make the sun come out….”

BobMbx on July 3, 2012 at 3:51 PM

When is all of this madness going to end…?

Seven Percent Solution on July 3, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Seven Percent Solutions:Yup:)

canopfor on July 3, 2012 at 3:52 PM

http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=15245

USNS CESAR CHAVEZ…

Khun Joe on July 3, 2012 at 3:54 PM

In its tanks, the USNS Henry J. Kaiser carried nearly 900,000 gallons of biofuel

At $26 a gallon

That is $23,400,000 Freaking Dollars for one load on just one oiler. How many oilers are going to support this one exercise?

I have just about had enough of this BS.

Is the LSM going to report and lament this as loud and long as the hammer and toilets that cost so much under previous administrations. HA!!!!!!!!

D-fusit on July 3, 2012 at 4:11 PM

If they are hell bent on spending an obscene amount of money, I would rather it go for new weapon systems or send it straight to the sailors.

tommer74 on July 3, 2012 at 4:20 PM

They’re putting solar panels all over bases too, at least here in Texas.

Hooray!

TexasDan on July 3, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Insanity, thy name is 26.50 USD/gal ..

jimver on July 3, 2012 at 4:23 PM

In its tanks, the USNS Henry J. Kaiser carried nearly 900,000 gallons of biofuel

Imagine all that cat, dog, chicken fat and got knows what else is in that biofuel, gotta be awfully efficient :)….

jimver on July 3, 2012 at 4:24 PM

that requires biofuels that are 700% more expensive than conventional fuel?

the fuel’s $26-a-gallon price, compared to $3.60 for conventional fuel.

$3.60 x 7 ~ $26

This means the biofuel is 700% of the price of regular fuel, not 700% more expensive. If it were 700% more expensive it would cost 8 times as much (~$29).

Precision in language is important, Erika.

GWB on July 3, 2012 at 4:30 PM

….SO!….who’s getting paid?

KOOLAID2 on July 3, 2012 at 4:35 PM

….SO!….who’s getting paid?

KOOLAID2 on July 3, 2012 at 4:35 PM

There you go. Good question. I’m guessing an Obama bundler is involved.

slickwillie2001 on July 3, 2012 at 4:42 PM

I wonder what the long-term effects are on jet engines; something tells me that there are going to be other costs associated with this.

exhelodrvr on July 3, 2012 at 4:53 PM

Considering how the Navy isn’t building new ships at a rate sufficient to replace ships being decommissioned, and that the Navy today is the smallest it’s been since the 1930s and is still shrinking with no end in sight, having “half” of the surviving fleet powered by a type of fuel that gobbles up money that might otherwise be used for ship construction makes perfect sense, in a perverse way.

And the goal is eminently achievable. A self-fulfilling prophecy, one might say. We’ll eventually have 10 or fewer nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, perhaps 30 nuclear-powered submarines… and about 30 or 40 other ships that run on algae or whatever. There you go — half the fleet will be “green.”

Spurius Ligustinus on July 3, 2012 at 4:59 PM

….SO!….who’s getting paid?

KOOLAID2 on July 3, 2012 at 4:35 PM

There you go. Good question. I’m guessing an Obama bundler is involved.

slickwillie2001 on July 3, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Yrp. I wrote about it in December.

The fuel for the Great Green Fleet is the fuel purchase discussed in that piece.

Research since then has turned up 4 different algal-biofuel projects on the Hawaiin islands (Oahu and Kauai, specifically) to which Obama cronies have connections. I’ll be putting that piece out this summer, but am working on finishing my Reagan/Cold War book right now. That’s the priority. At any rate, cronyism is the name of the biofuel game.

J.E. Dyer on July 3, 2012 at 5:01 PM

I wonder what the long-term effects are on jet engines

Not relevant. What is, is who’s profiting richly off this scam. Besides which, they burn out earlier unexpectedly, Obama’ sealing the deal on dandy solar “green” powered replacements at 400% of conventional jet engine pricing.

hawkeye54 on July 3, 2012 at 5:01 PM

… SO! … who’s getting paid?

KOOLAID2 on July 3, 2012 at 4:35 PM

As usual, follow the money…

Fallon on July 3, 2012 at 5:02 PM

We’ll eventually have 10 or fewer nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, perhaps 30 nuclear-powered submarines… and about 30 or 40 other ships that run on algae or whatever. There you go — half the fleet will be “green.”

And eventually we’ll have half the personnel and budgeting to operate and maintain them, so there you go, half of the “green” half of the fleet will be inactive.

hawkeye54 on July 3, 2012 at 5:04 PM

I live for day– and it will come– when teenagers adopt as a term of mocking disparagement and dismissal: “that’s sooo greeeen.”

de rigueur on July 3, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Compare what the cost of the Enterprise’s nuclear power reactors when it first got turned on to what the cost of the(what ?) 6th or 8th generation nuclear power cores in the USS G.HW Bush. When something first comes on line it always costs more than what it will in 20 years.

Is that 3.60/per gallon the fuel they use now or just to compare what the public puts in their car. NASCAR rated fuel costs more than the $3.60/per gallon close to $6 and they get 5 miles per gallon. So one would hope that the fuel grade that the military use is more in line with what the commercial airline industry uses with is no where near the $3.60 per gallon for jet fuel or ship’s go juice. The whole bag fee thing came about was because the cost of gas kept going up yet the auto gas did not go up as fast.

tjexcite on July 3, 2012 at 5:12 PM

I have no problems with solar cells and windmills, should development of them prove to be cost efficient (although I’m pretty sure that at their best they can only augment power generation).

Bio-fuels are a different matter. Farmers use a ton of fuel to grow the corn to make bio-fuel, as well as processing. This will, I believe, lead to shortages in food production. Also, they want to fight high concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but a lower amount of carbon dioxide would reduce crop yield.

There is no appreciable benefit to the environment, the costs are astronomical, but it sure does look good to lefties to have a ‘Green Fleet’.

Why not use wind power — use sailboats. Oh, and rather than mine the earth for iron, let’s use renewable trees — yes, go back to 18th Century technology.

rbj on July 3, 2012 at 3:30 PM

I was thinking the same thing.

In its tanks, the USNS Henry J. Kaiser carried nearly 900,000 gallons of biofuel

At $26 a gallon

That is $23,400,000 Freaking Dollars for one load on just one oiler. How many oilers are going to support this one exercise?

D-fusit on July 3, 2012 at 4:11 PM

I knew it was bad, but your calculations show just how bad it is. For the difference, how many more ships, planes and men could we have?

Doesn’t anyone in the Pentagon crunch numbers? Or are the infected with the same unconcerned money-wasting disease that plagues the rest of the government? You would think that military men would be a little more practical – and respectful of accountants.

Johnny 100 Pesos on July 3, 2012 at 5:22 PM

NASCAR rated fuel costs more than the $3.60/per gallon close to $6 and they get 5 miles per gallon.

(psssst….taxpayers don’t pay for that)

The whole bag fee thing came about was because the cost of gas kept going up yet the auto gas did not go up as fast.

(psssst…..airlines enter into long-term contracts for the delivery of fuel….they aren’t affected by the day-to-day or even monthly swings in jet fuel prices….the bag fee’s were invented so they could advertise a much lower ticket price, it was a marketing gimmick)

BobMbx on July 3, 2012 at 5:24 PM

Makes me wonder why they ever got rid of the sailing ships.

Want green? A nuke carrier gets refueled every 25 years.

A conventional carrier takes on 1 million gallons of fuel every three days just to run the boilers.

Get it?

Wander on July 3, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Rational thinking went out the door years ago. Don’t expect prices for these new fuels to EVER be affordable – not with the military/government involved. Just look at how defense contractors gouge the government for the most mundane of products.

Hill60 on July 3, 2012 at 3:10 PM

With all the BS you have to go through to sell to the government, it ain’t gouging. An old boss of mine once said, “There’s only one thing worse than doing business with the government, and that’s doing no damn business at all!”

Ward Cleaver on July 3, 2012 at 5:40 PM

I could see the development of “alternative” fuels if any of the “peak oil” scenarios proved accurate, but it seems that every time I turn around there’s some new discovery of yet more recoverable oil reserves right here in the good ol’ US of A.

We’re practically sitting on top of an ocean of oil. So where’s the need for “green” fuel again?

I used to laugh at Mexico for being “The only country on the planet to strike oil and lose money.” But seeing as how we are the only country on the planet that in large measure refuses to exploit its own abundant fossil fuel reserves in favor of paying hostile foreigners to develop theirs, while maintaining a navy to preserve the freedom of the seas for those same foreigners to ship their oil while we require that same dwindling navy to spend seven times the price for fuel…

I’m not laughing anymore.

Spurius Ligustinus on July 3, 2012 at 5:52 PM

Mabus is a buttsniffing liberal twit Obama tool. Hey, but $26 a gallon isn’t bad compared to last year’s price.

Jaibones on July 3, 2012 at 5:55 PM

the primary military argument for the green fleet was being able to run even if conventional supplies were cut. But the illogic of that argument is that our domestic supplies more then meet those demands.

The green project is interesting and I think something like it should be maintained as a research project until such time as they can figure out how to mass produce it at a competitive rate. Short of that, it is a danger to our strategic position to waste the defense budget on boondoggles. Kill the green fleet idea. Move the whole thing back to the R&D department. Focus on the primary mission.

Karmashock on July 3, 2012 at 6:06 PM

As a Navy guy, I CANNOT STAND the “political” positions the Navy has taken over the last decade and a half! They are always pushing diversity which the root word is diverse which leads to disunity because sailors are not of one mind and one heart in purpose. Someone’s agenda is always either pushed or hurt because they are not being recognized. We (military as a whole) have forgotten why we exist and that is to kill people and break things when you get down the bottom line of it all!

g2825m on July 3, 2012 at 6:19 PM

The whole bag fee thing came about was because the cost of gas kept going up yet the auto gas did not go up as fast.

(psssst…..airlines enter into long-term contracts for the delivery of fuel….they aren’t affected by the day-to-day or even monthly swings in jet fuel prices….the bag fee’s were invented so they could advertise a much lower ticket price, it was a marketing gimmick)

BobMbx on July 3, 2012 at 5:24 PM

Exactly! My wife worked for Southwest for years and it is why Southwest is always one of the ONLY airlines to make a profit is because one of the major reasons is they have great people who are great at hedging fuel prices that they buy in advance.

g2825m on July 3, 2012 at 6:23 PM

The GOP House should submit legislation to tax the wazoo out of “Green Energy”. When the Dems object they can say, “We’re following your lead of punitive taxation. ObamaCare taxes Medical Device companies, insurance companies, charitable hospitals, “Cadillac” healthcare plans, and other items which provide a clear benefit to consumers and corporations alike. If taxing good things is for the greater good, it’s time to add a special surtax on green energy.”

Buy Danish on July 3, 2012 at 6:29 PM

I know how to bring this madnes to a screeaching halt. Spread a rumor that all of the $26 fuel is produced by Halliburton.

Alabama Infidel on July 3, 2012 at 6:35 PM

What a shocker! More crony-capitalism at work.

The Pentagon paid Solazyme Inc $8.5 million in 2009 for 20,055 gallons of biofuel based on algae oil, or $424 a gallon.

Solazyme’s strategic advisers, according to its website, include T.J. Glauthier, who served on Obama’s White House Transition team and dealt with energy issues, but also former CIA director R. James Woolsey, a conservative national security official.

Buy Danish on July 3, 2012 at 6:39 PM

And this will be a front page, above the fold headline story at the NYT, WaPo, LAT, et al, in three, two, one … Naah, nothing to see here move along.
However, were it Bush it WOULD be front page, leading story by the manipulated stories machine and the headline would be “Is Halliburton Involved?”
If this gets mention on NPR … I’ll send them $20 OK?
Stories like this (if honestly reported … wishful thinking that)will get King Putt LANDSLIDED come November.

Missilengr on July 3, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Wait till they drop a billion or two on research for wind-powered ships.

Oh..wait……

BobMbx on July 3, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Screw that. We got plenty of illegals…

You want a Green card? Report to the galley of the USS Solyndra and help row this b!tch…

God forbid our bloated and moribund defense department suffer some cuts!!!

Oh please. For Decades we’ve heard this same song n dance and it never gets young!

NO on is saying the DoD shouldn’t have cuts like the rest of the government, but they shouldn’t be done indiscriminately. Especially when talking about upgrades or purchases of even basic weapons for the military.

Yeah, this green fuel nonsense is asinine

No kidding…this is way past the $400 toilet seats and $1200 Crescent wrenches that’s been dragged out before …even assuming those weren’t done to help hide certain expenditures.

but lets not pretend the military can’t take a $1 trillion cut *spread over the next 10 years*. If we can’t cut that, we can’t cut anything.

Aquateen Hungerforce on July 3, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Over 10 Years yes, but lets not play games that some will try to use any opportunity to gut Defense simply because they don’t like policy.

BlaxPac on July 3, 2012 at 7:13 PM

You may want to know that this “green” fuel is largely made from pig fat at a plant just south of Baton Rouge, LA which was built with a MOU from the Bush Administration.

Just think about what certain demographics in certain countries will do when threatened with pig fat (though reconstituted) atomized particles being breathed in.

Anyone want one of the jets to have a fuel dump over Mecca?

Kermit on July 3, 2012 at 7:18 PM

It’s official, our government is being run by morons who have no willpower, sense, or courage. And while our military is downgraded and made eco-friendly for no damn reason, China’s military is expanding.

Does anyone think this is a good thing? Are even liberals dumb enough to believe that having a weakened US and an empowered China would be good for world peace?

R. Waher on July 3, 2012 at 7:19 PM

The $26 per gallon price was for a very small production run of approved jet fuel to be experimented with. Such a price for such a small quantity is not out of the norm.

Kermit on July 3, 2012 at 7:20 PM

The $26 per gallon price was for a very small production run of approved jet fuel to be experimented with. Such a price for such a small quantity is not out of the norm.

Kermit on July 3, 2012 at 7:20 PM

.

Even giving you that much, why would you deploy an experimental fuel blend to a active duty task force?

Why not use it with a group that doing, oh i dont know, joint exercises instead?

That way, if the stuff fails, it will fail in a training exercise, and not possibly during a combat op.

Not to mention, you’d save on money and supplies needed in case the experiment fails

BlaxPac on July 3, 2012 at 7:30 PM

BlaxPac on July 3, 2012 at 7:30 PM

A fuel dump over Mecca with pig fat based fuel would be one heckuva weapon.

Kermit on July 3, 2012 at 7:41 PM

J.E. Dyer on July 3, 2012 at 5:01 PM

This article is incomplete and obvious that neither you nor Erika understand what is going on here. As usual most of the posters are clueless.

The plant where this is made was built with a MOU from DoD under Bush and ground broken in August of 2008.

PIG FAT based fuel. Think about it and Mecca at the same time.

Kermit on July 3, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Thanks, Kermit. FYI, posters, though Kermit NEEDS no one to give him a word of support, he DOES know what he’s talking about. Perhaps Erika should put him on her go-to list for advice. Quite a knowledgeable guy.

Mae on July 3, 2012 at 8:25 PM

Notice they don’t include aircraft carriers and submarines on the list of vessels powered by “green” energy. That’s because they’re nuclear powered, and liberals hate nuclear energy too (except when developed by Iran).

Outlander on July 3, 2012 at 8:31 PM

A fuel dump over Mecca with pig fat based fuel would be one heckuva weapon.

Kermit on July 3, 2012 at 7:41 PM

HELL, no! Thats a a waste of good pig fat!

Now dump ‘em into some collard & mustard greens, and fry me mup some taters in the leftovers…Mmmmm, MMM now that’s good for you!

BlaxPac on July 3, 2012 at 8:32 PM

It’s expensive because it was only a short run of two days production and an expensive outage to switch back to civilian fuels.

The plant was financed and built with a commitment from DoD and likely during Rummy’s time in office.

So yes it is expensive for this tiny amount of JET FUEL. One day or so for a carrier to supply its jets.

A USN oiler (ship) carries a LOT more than a measly 20,000 barrels of fuel which would be less than 10% of its load of fuel.

But when stated in gallons it sound like an enormous amount, when in fact it would be a few days supply for a large town or small city.

Someone obviously supplied Erika with this lead and info without telling her the entire story. That or she is clueless on “energy matters.”

Kermit on July 3, 2012 at 8:36 PM

but lets not pretend the military can’t take a $1 trillion cut *spread over the next 10 years*. If we can’t cut that, we can’t cut anything.

Aquateen Hungerforce on July 3, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Does the threat to US interests decline when we cut the defense budget? If it did, I’d zero out the DoD tomorrow.

How does cutting a trillion dollars from DoD help the US? Lets not pretend a trillion dollar cut in defense is a reduction in spending, cuz that trillion will be spent somewhere else, and the debt will continue to grow as does now.

Thats the reality. So making the US vulnerable is a good trade for what? More food stamps? More post-graduate degrees in puppetry?

BobMbx on July 3, 2012 at 8:37 PM

The Deceiver-in-Chief and his lying minions have hit a new low with this incredulous bull-blather.

Un-fxxxing-real.

hillbillyjim on July 3, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Dang, BlaxPac, you just made my mouth water.

Mae on July 3, 2012 at 8:50 PM

2. Use ships powered by nuclear reactors, whose fuel can be enriched domestically.

Steve Z on July 3, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Exactly. The 45,000 ton LHA-6 amphibious assault ship currently under construction should especially be nuclear powered. It would not only mean a decreased dependance on oil, but a reduced fire hazard during combat operations. The five 25,000 ton LPD-17 assault ships under construction, along with the five already built should be nuclear powered as well. I would even propose that any combat ship larger than an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer (~ 10,000 tons) be nuclear powered. Screw going green, let’s go atomic.

weathermen on July 3, 2012 at 8:53 PM

weathermen on July 3, 2012 at 8:53 PM

This fuel is jet fuel for aircraft, about a day or so worth.

Kermit on July 3, 2012 at 9:16 PM

weathermen on July 3, 2012 at 8:53 PM

This fuel is jet fuel for aircraft, just a few days worth of supply

Kermit on July 3, 2012 at 9:26 PM

Correction, groundbreaking was in October of 2008.

The FIRST contract with DoD was signed 2006 under Rumsfeld and Bush.

Kermit on July 3, 2012 at 10:07 PM

This fuel is jet fuel for aircraft, just a few days worth of supply

Kermit on July 3, 2012 at 9:26 PM

The article appears to state otherwise.

In its tanks, the USNS Henry J. Kaiser carried nearly 900,000 gallons of biofuel blended with petroleum to power the cruisers, destroyers and fighter jets…

Conventionally powered ships and aircraft in the strike group will burn the blend…

In any event, my goal was to show the wisdom of using nuclear propulsion for ships over any other fuel, be it petroleum based or “green” recyclables. Again, the advantages I see are:

1. No need for at sea propulsion refueling.
2. Reduced fire risk. Especially important when you are already carrying volatile Jet and vehicle fuel.
3. Who knows what fuel will be readily available and at what price in ten, twenty or thirty years.

weathermen on July 3, 2012 at 10:24 PM

Kermit,
Newer ships use jet turbine engines, or a combination of jet turbine engines and diesel engines, so this fuel would be used by both the ships and the aircraft.

Hawkeye,
The long-term effect on the engines is totally relevant; I suspect that there are “hidden” costs there, which will make the actual price of the fuel even higher, thus a greater drain on the Navy’s budget. And if so, that will not be openly provided to the public, just like the Greens do with the “hidden” costs of their other pet projects.

exhelodrvr on July 3, 2012 at 10:54 PM

The fuel was made by Dynamic Fuels owned by Syntroleum and Tyson. They signed their first contract with DoD in 2006 when Rumsfeld was SecDef.

That is about a week’s worth of production.

Actually for a short run of only a week for a plant to switch over and also to cover the contracted R&D costs, $26 per gallon is not bad.

This is only two river barges full, and a little over 10% of the capacity of a USN Oiler (small products tanker).

It would not last long being used for propulsion of a ship with a oil fueled gas turbine.

FYI, JP grade fuels are a grade of kerosene.

Kermit on July 3, 2012 at 11:18 PM

Dang, BlaxPac, you just made my mouth water.

Mae on July 3, 2012 at 8:50 PM

You kidding? I was making MY mouth drool a little…

Then i hit this link for Bon Appetit about BBQ ribs…and I *swear* i smelled cornbread.

Already making a shopping list for the weekend. If i can pick up some ribs tomorrow I’ll have them marinating and ready to slow cook on Saturday for Sunday dinner…along with those greens… :o)

BlaxPac on July 3, 2012 at 11:19 PM

exhelodrvr on July 3, 2012 at 10:54 PM

Never been in the Navy but well aware of LM2500+ gas turbines. I’ve touched them and put my head inside. Tried to sell one that was dunked during Katrina and had seaweed all over the outside, but nothing entered it internally or the generator it was powering previously.

Still this would power a LHD8 for a week at stated consumption rates.

It’s only 22,000 barrels! Gimme a break, that is NOTHING.

Kermit on July 3, 2012 at 11:58 PM

J.E. Dyer on July 3, 2012 at 5:01 PM

…you are right…now that you remind me…December seems like yesterday…was unbelievable!

KOOLAID2 on July 4, 2012 at 12:06 AM

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