November 10, 2013

The importance of the renewable fuel standard

In the summer of 2012, Hawaii and the surrounding Pacific Ocean played host to the 23rd biannual Rim of the Pacific naval exercise. Last year’s RIMPAC was the world’s largest and most comprehensive maritime exercise, with more than 22 countries participating from across the Asia-Pacific region.

While RIMPAC 2012 was notable for its size and scope, it was also notable for something else — it was the first time the U.S. Navy operated ships and other platforms with a blend consisting of 50 percent renewable fuel.

Dubbed the Great Green Fleet demonstration, the Navy’s exercise proved that biofuels are a viable alternative to fossil fuels. In fact, the Navy even refueled a Royal Australian Navy helicopter that had been using conventional fuels with biofuel aboard the USS Nimitz. The helicopter performed perfectly after the refueling, and on July 19, the United States and Australia signed an agreement to work together to advance the use of biofuels.

For the Navy, developing alternatives to fossil fuels isn’t just about fighting climate change — though that’s an important side benefit. Biofuels will also play a much more practical role in the Navy’s fuel mix, boosting our energy security and supporting the U.S. economy.

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By:  Senator Mazie K. Hirono
Source: Politico