In 2011, then-Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced an initiative called the Great Green Fleet. Although wrapped in the mantle of warfighting, it was never really about the Navy. Instead, it was about pursuing a national energy agenda and using military money to create a biofuel industry. The Great Green Fleet became part of a broader set of initiatives designed to put the Navy on the front lines of the fight against climate change. Although superficially plausible at the time when fuel prices were high, the Green Fleet is inappropriate, even counterproductive, at a time of booming U.S. energy production and Navy budget shortfalls. It is time to take a critical look at these energy initiatives, terminate those that do not directly help the Navy, subject others to cost-benefit analysis, but also look broadly at places where additional energy investments might help the Navy.
Sink the Great Green Fleet
By Colonel Mark F. Cancian, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve (Retired)