Deputy Assistant SECNAV for Energy Discusses RAND Report

Story Number: NNS110125-20Release Date: 1/25/2011 5:11:00 PM
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From Defense Media Activity Navy

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Deputy assistant secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) for energy hosted a roundtable event Jan. 25 in Washington to discuss the recent release of the RAND Corporation's report on "Alternative Fuels for Military Applications," which was submitted to Congress Jan. 24.

The RAND report was submitted as a result of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2009, Section 334, which directed the Secretary of Defense to fund the research and development of alternative and synthetic fuels.

Tom Hicks, deputy assistant SECNAV for energy, discussed the Navy's reservations on the accuracy and impartiality of the report.

"The lack of engagement with the leading voice on alternative energy, the secretariat, has caused us to have reservations about this report. We haven't been consulted or asked to provide input on the secretariat level." said Hicks. "Unfortunately we think there are some misrepresentations and some factual errors regarding to the Navy's certification and testing efforts."

"We have some serious reservations about the report." said Hicks. "The Navy has really led the way in the Pentagon and in DoD on energy issues. We have been focused on alternative fuels since SECNAV announced his goals back in October 2009 on a range of issues, including 50 percent of fuel in the Navy to be alternative fuel sources by 2020. Based on active engagement with alternative fuel and biofuels industry, we have come up with far different conclusions than are indicated in the RAND report."

SECNAV Ray Mabus announced five energy targets at the Navy Energy Forum in McLean, Va., Oct. 14-15, 2009, that the Navy has steadily continued to pursue.

The goals included:

- Energy Efficient Acquisition: Evaluation of energy factors will be mandatory when awarding contracts for systems and buildings.

- Sail the "Great Green Fleet": DON will demonstrate a Green Strike Group in local operations by 2012 and sail it by 2016.

- Reduce Non-Tactical Petroleum Use: By 2015, DON will reduce petroleum use in the commercial fleet by 50%.

- Increase Alternative Energy Ashore: By 2020, DON will produce at least 50% of shore-based energy requirements from alternative sources; 50% of DON installations will be net-zero.

- Increase Alternative Energy Use DON-Wide: By 2020, 50% of total DON energy consumption will come from alternative sources.

Hicks re-emphasized the importance of the development of alternative fuels when referring to national security during the roundtable discussion.

"We feel like alternative fuels and bio fuels play right into that discussion - we feel like there are absolutely national security issues that are directly related to the alternative fuel issue that are not reflected in the report." said Hicks.

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