Turning the Department of Defense 100-Percent Net Green Is Mission Impossible

According to the White House. Joe Biden will save the planet by making the federal bureaucracy totally green. Biden signed an Executive Order that presented an ambitious plan to turn the federal government to 100% “net-zero” emissions by 2050.  Here are the five bullet points:

  • 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity (CFE) by 2030, at least half of which will be locally supplied clean energy to meet 24/7 demand;
  • 100 percent zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) acquisitions by 2035, including 100 percent zero-emission light-duty vehicle acquisitions by 2027;
  • Net-zero emissions from federal procurement no later than 2050, including a Buy Clean policy to promote use of construction materials with lower embodied emissions;
  • A net-zero emissions building portfolio by 2045, including a 50 percent emissions reduction by 2032; and
  • Net-zero emissions from overall federal operations by 2050, including a 65 percent emissions reduction by 2030.

Much like the Build Back Better lie that it’s a “net-zero” on the debt, this “net-zero emissions” whopper is rhetorical sleight-of-hand and in a word, impossible.

Perhaps someone in the White House Press corp will ask Jen Psaki how the federal government could go entirely green in less than 30 years when the feds biggest consumer of fossil fuel, is the DOD. Some of our ships at sea are powered by nuclear and a number of ships, like the carrier Makin Island, are hybrids but in combat conditions, even hybrids like the Makin, turn on the gas. Yes, static domestic bases can pull power from solar wind grids, but once combat conditions present themselves overseas there is no viable alternative to fossil fuel as an energy source. Forward Operating Bases can and did use solar, but in bad weather or at night, not so much.

Time Magazine published an article from Obama’s Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus. It was under Mabus’ watch that the Navy commissioned the USS Harvey Milk, (an oiler). The naming of a Navy ship after Milk was purely political. Although Hollywood created a gay hero myth about Milk, Milk was a sexual predator, with an appetite for underage boys.  Paula Neira broke the champagne across Milk’s bow. Paula used to be Paul.

Long before being appointed Secretary of the Navy Mabus’ naval experience was as an LtJG on the Light Cruiser Little Rock. He was aboard when it collided with a Greek destroyer. The ship spent 6 months out of service in Boston harbor. That, apparently, qualified Mabus to act as the Navy Secretary under Obama and to offer some opinions on turning the US Military green.

In his November 13, 2020 article he claimed that the military needed to get with the program. The DOD needs to turn a different color of green. Mabus claimed that he “moved aggressively to get the Navy and Marines off fossil fuels”.

“That’s a bold strategy Cotton”. Yeah, not exactly, Ray. The initiative to “green” ashore facilities started under Bush. He never mentions that. He also doesn’t mention that the Navy and combat Marines are never getting “off” fossil fuels. The majority of energy consumption by Navy ships in carrier groups that aren’t carriers burn fossil fuel. Every aircraft driven by Navy and Marines aviators as well as aircraft in the Air Force and Army burn jet fuel. There is no alternative to jet fuel for high-performance aircraft.

Mabus also claimed that Marines and SEALs carry rolls of solar panels to generate power in lieu of batteries. He wrote:

The Marines are now making much of the energy they need where they are deployed using portable solar and wind. Just having rollable solar panels to put into their packs saves a Marine company 700 pounds of batteries which they don’t have to carry and don’t need to be resupplied. The same is true for some of our SEAL teams who make energy and clean water wherever they are without needing supplies to be brought in. It makes them better at their jobs.

I asked my son about this claim. He served most of his Navy career as a SEAL while Mabus was the Navy Secretary and said of Mabus’ claim: “it’s bullshit”. The radios carried into combat require substantial power and that power comes from batteries. “No way the energy needed for radios are coming from rolled-up solar panels”.

Last May Kamala Harris addressed midshipmen at Annapolis and made a similar claim. She addressed future sailors and Marines with the following:

“Ask any Marine today, would she rather carry 20 lbs of batteries or a rolled-up solar panel, and I am positive she would tell you, a solar panel… and so would he” (cackle, cackle cackle)

No, madam Vice President, not unless they have no interest in surviving. The sun goes down at night. Trees, jungle, dust storms, hills, clouds interfere with the solar collection. Backup batteries will be part of any combat patrol now and into the foreseeable future.

Joe Biden can sign Executive Orders that project the Department of Defense with “net-zero emission” by 2050, but it’s a fantasy. It’s no more attainable than a time-traveling DeLorean or an F-35 at a Tesla charging station.

Mabus thinks going green will make soldiers “better at their jobs”. How? Maybe for officers in self-driving Telsas headed to the Pentagon for a meeting but in combat, depending on a rolled-up solar panel is more likely to get soldiers killed.