Mississippi native and former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus is talking about America's naval readiness and alternative energy during a visit to Jackson. Mabus says monies coming to the state can make it the center for alternative energy development.
The longest serving Secretary of the Navy since World War II, drew a crowd to Millsaps College, to hear him talk about the military and the nation's preparedness. Ray Mabus served from 2009 to 2017, during the Obama Administration. He describes what he confronted when he took the office.
"Our fleet was shrunken. Our economy was in shambles. Too soon we faced sequestration and a government shutdown. Oil dependency price and supply shocks threatened operations and training and were literally costing us lives," said Mabus.
Mabus says using basic business decisions he drove down the cost of ships. The Navy had 41 ships and is now on track to have 308 by 2021. Mabus says moving away from reliance on oil was important.
"I set some ambitious goals for Navy energy, the biggest one of which was that by no later than 2020, at least half of all our energy would come from non-fossil fuel sources. We achieved the shore part of that by 2015," said Mabus.
Today Mabus says 60 percent of shore operations are fueled by alternative energy. At sea he says alternatives are 35 percent. Congress approved a recovery plan formulated by Mabus after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. He says monies will be coming to Mississippi, that can make the state the center for alternative energy.
"We are past the tipping point on the kinds of energy were going to be using far, far into the future because it's indispensable to military today," said Mabus.
Ray Mabus is an advisor to Google Ventures and teaches at Harvard University Law School.