The Marines And Seals Are Doing It: Clean Energy

We’ve chronicled countless green U.S. military initiatives that make such patently good sense that here at EarthTechling, there’s a high comfort level with our fighting forces embracing clean energy. But while even many hardcore military backers get it, there are critics who mock the movement. Which is why the recent Naval Energy Forum once again featured Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus explaining the rationale.

It’s pretty simple, actually: “We are a military organization, and we’re doing this so that we can be a better military organization, so that we can fight better, so that we can perform the duties and missions given to us by this country,” Mabus said in his remarks.

green military

image via U.S. Marine Corps/Gunnery Sgt. William Price

“This isn’t trendy, this isn’t flavor of the day,” Mabus went on. “We’re not just doing this because we want a little pop here and there or because it’s somehow what people are talking about today. We’re doing it for the Navy. We’re doing it for the Marine Corps. We’re doing it for the United States of America to become energy independent, and we’ve got lots of reasons.”

Mabus reminded the gathering that the Navy has been here before – pushing the envelope on energy.

“We pioneered energy use and have almost throughout our entire history: in the 1850s, sail to coal; in the early 20th century, coal to oil; in the 1950s, pioneered the use of nuclear for transportation,” he said. “And every single time we did, without exception, there were these naysayers that said, you’re trading one very proven form of energy we really know how to use and we’ve got a lot of infrastructure invested in, and we’ve got sail lofts or we’ve got coaling stations around the world, or it’s too dangerous, in the case of nuclear. And most of the time they were inside the Navy saying this. And every single time – every time, without exception – they’ve been wrong. And I have absolutely no doubt they’re going to be wrong this time too.

Sports columnist, newspaper desk guy, website managing editor, wine-industry PR specialist, freelance writer—Pete Danko’s career in media has covered a lot of terrain. The constant along the way has been a fierce dedication to knowing the story and getting it right. Danko's work has appeared in Wired, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.