TEMPE, Ariz. (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus discussed the current global situation, energy, and sustainability, from a maritime perspective April 24, at Arizona State University's Global Institute of Sustainability.
The address, part of the university's Wrigley Lecture Series, examined the close relationship between energy security and the Navy and Marine Corps' global presence.
During the lecture, Mabus spoke in depth about how energy is a strategic security issue.
"My concern, which I've raised in speeches and articles and in countless discussions is, in part, about the national and international security implications - the critical geopolitical role of energy," said Mabus. "As a security challenge, access to energy and fuel can be a diplomatic pressure point and can be, has been, and is used as a geostrategic weapon."
Mabus also addressed the fiscal impact of energy on the Department of the Navy.
"Each $1 increase in the price of a barrel of oil results in a $30 million bill for the Navy and Marine Corps. This has huge implications across the Department of Defense and for our security. DOD is the largest single institutional consumer of fossil fuels on earth and budgets about $15 billion each year on fuel," he said. "But in fiscal years 2011 and 2012 price spikes added another $3 billion to the DOD fuel bill. The bills from that "security premium" can mean that we will have fewer resources for training, for operations and, if the bill gets too high, fewer platforms like ships and planes."
The energy goals Mabus laid out in 2009 for the Department of the Navy were also a topic of discussion during the lecture.
"I announced five energy goals for the Department of the Navy in order to improve our energy security, increase our strategic independence and sustainability, and advance our operational capabilities," said Mabus. "We are going to meet these goals through a number of programs including a variety of alternative fuel initiatives and also greater energy efficiency."
The lecture was followed by a brief question and answer session with those in attendance.
The Wrigley Lecture Series brings internationally-known thinkers and problem-solvers to the university to engage with current and future members of the sustainability community.
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