The U.S. Secretary of the Navy was on the campus of Purdue University Thursday acting on his commitment to obtain at least half of Navy and Marine Corps energy from alternative sources by 2020. Ray Mabus and Purdue President Mitch Daniels signed a statement of cooperation to further their existing alternative energy research relationship.
Mabus leads both the Navy and Marine Corps. He said venturing into alternate energy strategies is nothing new at the Navy.
“The Navy has always been at the very forefront of change when it comes to energy,” he said. “We went from sail to coal in the middle of the 19th century. We went from coal to oil in the beginning of the 20th century, and we pioneered nuclear as a form of transportation in the middle of the 20th century. Now every single time the Navy did that, there were naysayers, including some of my predecessors as secretary.”
But the naysayers were always on the wrong side of the argument and the military gained an edge. Mabus said relying on fossil fuels is too expensive and too volatile when countries will go to war over oil.
“The price of oil today is over $110 a barrel and every time it goes up a dollar a barrel it costs the Navy and Marine Corps $30 million in additional fuel costs.”
The answer Mabus says is a stably priced, American made source of power, furthering the country’s energy security. President Daniels says Purdue and its Energy Center in Discovery Park can help with their research efforts for advancing alternative energy sources and approaches.
“This is an area in which we have a lot of interest, history, and we think depth of expertise at Purdue, and there may be great chances for Purdue yet again to make a contribution to the national defense through some cooperative efforts we hope to launch.”
Mabus agreed saying the basic and applied research at Purdue can have immense value and meaning to the Navy’s alternative energy goals.
Listen to the secretary’s complete address at Purdue:Daniels-Mabus