By Gary Thomas
The Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012 international maritime exercises were recently completed by the U.S. Navy. The exercises featured the Navy’s “Great Green Fleet” which runs on 50% biofuels blend. These exercises were conducted despite criticism from various quarters including the Congressional Republicans.
Biofuels will play a significant role in improving the energy independence and the security of the nation, according to the Navy. It has defended its renewable fuels strategy in the journal Industrial Biotechnology. The U.S. Navy Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy, Tom Hicks has presented the position of the Navy and has also replied to the criticism about the biofuels strategy of the military.
The Navy had recently organized an Industry Roundtable on the Advanced Drop-in Biofuels Initiative, where ongoing challenges and the areas of consensus were identified. The Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Air Force, and the Departments of Energy and Transportation took part in the event. The identified challenges were described by Hicks in an interview titled “A Dialogue with Thomas Hicks, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy.” The Senate Armed Services Committee had recently restricted the Department of Defense from procuring biofuels. Hicks commented on the possible effects that may occur due to this restriction. Further, the Navy used market pull for driving the commercialization and developing the technology for biofuels. Hicks responded to queries on these activities.
Cornell University Professor of Biological & Environmental Engineering, Larry Walker, praised the U.S. Navy’s dedication in developing the country’s renewable energy in order to safeguard the future energy requirements of the nation. Such efforts will aid the country in competing in the global market, he said.
Industrial Biotechnology is a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert.