Regular fuel for the US Navy costs $3.60/gallon for the US Navy according to Reuters (that seems awfully low for aviation fuel, but maybe that’s a bulk rate). But one carrier group is getting fuel that costs 622% more, a whopping $26/gallon, for “green fule” made from things like algae and chicken fat.
They’ll be using it soon in operations for the first time.
(Reuters) – A U.S. Navy oiler slipped away from a fuel depot on the Puget Sound in Washington state one recent day, headed toward the central Pacific and into the storm over the Pentagon’s controversial green fuels initiative.
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. The six-week exercise began on Friday.
The Pentagon hopes it can prove the Navy looks as impressive burning fuel squeezed from seeds, algae and chicken fat as it does using petroleum.
But the demonstration, years in the making, may be a Pyrrhic victory.
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.
The article reports that Obama’s Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus calls the “green fuel” “vital for the military’s energy security.”
Apparently Mr. Mabus hasn’t heard that there is an energy boom happening in this country right now, with entire oceans of reserves of oil and natural gas being opened up by new production techniques and favorable market conditions. “Peak oil,” or the idea that we’re going to run out of oil, is a notion that has been thrown on the scrap heap by the innovators in the fossil fuel energy industry.
Yet, the “peak oil” nonsense is still the driving force behind this expensive boondoggle.
Your tax dollars, hard at work.