Commonwealth National Podcast

Power Shift: The U.S. Navy and Global Energy Reform

Duration: 
1:00:30

Power Shift: The U.S. Navy and Global Energy Reform

 

Ray Mabus, Secretary of the U.S. Navy

 

Greg Dalton, Founder of Climate One

 

Within 10 years, the United States Navy will get one-half of all its energy needs, both afloat and ashore, from non-fossil fuel sources,” Navy Secretary Ray Mabus says. He believes that the US military can jump-start the clean energy revolution. “If we can begin to get this energy from different places and from different sources, then I think you can flip the line from ‘Field of Dreams’: If the Navy comes, they will build it. If we provide the market, then I think you’ll begin to see the infrastructure being built, the price per kilowatt-hour come down.” The Navy’s carbon footprint is vast – it consumes about 1 percent of all the energy used in the United States – and last fall announced an ambitious plan to slash fuel use and carbon emissions by buying hybrid vehicles, moving away from petroleum, and constructing energy efficient buildings.

 

Mabus also serves as President Obama’s point person for recovery in the Gulf. Work is needed, he says, to modernize the technology by which oil companies respond to spills, and to update the legal structure under which they operate. “Obviously, the cap that was placed on oil companies, which was $70 million, did not anticipate anything remotely like this incident. The legal structure … needs to be updated to take into account realities as they exist today,” Mabus says. Asked by Climate One’s Greg Dalton what an appropriate dollar figure for the liability cap might be, Mabus replied: “I’m not sure there needs to be a cap.”

 

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on August 16, 2010

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