Obama picks green advocate as Navy energy chief

July 9, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

President Obama has tapped a renewable energy advocate as the Navy’s new energy chief. 

Obama on Tuesday nominated Vice Adm. Dennis V. McGinn (Ret.) as the Navy’s assistant secretary for energy, installations and environment. McGinn comes over from the American Council on Renewable Energy, where he was president and chief executive.

The selection signals a continued commitment to green energy within the armed forces, an effort that’s irked some Republicans who argue such initiatives are too pricey.

The Navy plans to get half its energy from nontraditional sources by 2020. The White House has promoted the Navy’s transition to biofuels to power its fleet, and the Navy is also working toward getting 1 gigawatt of power from renewable sources, among other goals.

Some of those goals, however, have triggered GOP criticism. They say renewable energy programs are too expensive in an age of budget sequestration that threatens to chop $500 billion from the Pentagon in the next decade.

The Navy and Defense Department have said transitioning to renewable energy enhances security, keeps spending disassociated from volatile oil prices and reduces the effects of climate change, which the Pentagon has called a national security issue.

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