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Navy Goes Green

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The US Navy is jumping on the “going green” bandwagon like just about everyone else these days.

They have recently announced “The Green Hornet,” an experimental fighter jet that uses biofuel, eliminating typical harsh fumes a jet releases into the environment.

The Navy reportedly looks for ways for going green in an effort to lower its use of fossil fuels that come from locations outside of the US. Reports also state that the Navy, is the Pentagon’s second-largest user of oil, and is trying to lower its overall budget by experimenting with other forms of fuels.

Throughout the San Diego region, The Navy already is participating in green practices ranging from solar panels on the roofs of naval San Diego bases to using biodiesel bulldozers and even the use of wind power off the coast. In addition, the Navy is using artificial grass in place of real sod at San Diego bases.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has reported by 2015 that The Navy and The Marines will cut its oil use by at least one-half, by driving hybrid and electric cars and trucks.

By 2016, the Navy plans to deploy a “green strike group” of nuclear and biofuel-powered ships, by 2020, it wants half of its energy needs to be covered by green sources, such as solar and wind.

Residents can already witness some of these environmental changes in effect for example at the San Diego Naval Base. The Makin Island, the Navy’s first hybrid ship, arrived in September via a combination of gas turbine engines and electric motors. On its voyage from Mississippi to San Diego, it saved 900,000 gallons of fuel, worth $2 million, compared with a traditional ship.

The “Green Hornet” was Navy-tested in April as an F/A-18 jet that ran on an even blend of traditional jet fuel and camelina, an oilseed plant from the mustard family.

Under an agreement with the U.S. Agricultural Department and a private corporation, the Navy is experimenting with growing its own raw materials for biofuel in the sugarcane fields of Hawaii.

Stay tuned for more US Government agencies to go green.

Photo courtesy of Jill Clardy via flickr

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