Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has been saying for years now that he supports research into renewable energy, and wants to “green” the Navy. And he’s so dedicated to the cause that he’s said in the past his goal is to reduce the Navy’s use of fossil fuels by 50 percent by 2020.
But a handful of House Republicans, including Colorado Springs U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, want him to knock it off.
On March 6, a group of 14 members of Congress sent Mabus a letter telling him that spending more money on researching renewable energy would be like pouring money down the sink, and that for the time being, he should rely on fossil fuels.
“Your priorities for utilizing green energy are not matched by the mission of the Navy,” the letter reads. “We realize and expect that the cheapest energy will not always be the safest energy. However, we object to and cannot endorse an effort to ‘green’ the Navy just for the sake of greening the Navy.”
“Our Navy’s goals are winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas. Every dollar that is not directed towards these goals is a dollar wasted.”
The letter argues that with the federal budget running an enormous deficit and military spending being cut, now is not the time to pursue prospective energy sources. Rather, the House Republicans write, the Navy’s money would be better spent on tried and true fossil fuels that are more affordable.
“Paying such high prices for alternative fuels yields only greater overall costs to absorb in this time of shrinking budgets; this proves especially troublesome given the Navy is already faced with a glaring shortfall in fleet size,” the letter reads. “We must ensure that every dollar spent demonstrates a cost savings associated with the investment.”
The letter was written in response to written testimony that Mabus had submitted to the House Armed Services Committee, of which Lamborn is a member. Most of the others who signed are also members, including Colorado Congressman Mike Coffman, R-Aurora.
Read the letter here: Multiple Members of Congress_Concerns energy statements