Some of the panel discussions at the Navy League’s Sea, Air, Space Exposition can be pretty dry — it’s just the nature of the beast. Take, for example, the discussion on the Navy Department’s energy efficiency efforts. There were flow charts, time lines and, of course, a handful of shout-outs to the Green Hornet.
But what’s that coming from the back of the conference room? A surprise guest? Bud McFarlane, former national security adviser to President Reagan? Yeah, that Bud McFarlane. And he had a question or two for the panel. But first, he provided some analysis on the world’s energy situation.
“First, I’d like to congratulate you,” he told the panel members. “Your focus on getting the Navy and Marine Corps sea services off foreign oil addresses the most strategic threat our country faces. Clearly, disruption of oil in and around the Persian Gulf, or extravagant costs through political decisions at OPEC, could literally bring down the global economy, put oil at $200 a barrel overnight. Japan would collapse first, but ultimately our own and the global economy would be brought down. So congratulations on what you’re doing. You’re truly on the cutting edge of coping with the most strategic threat not just to our own country, but what the world is facing.”
After that, he moved into a two-part question about the cost-competitiveness of the energy programs and the energy industry’s ability to meet the fleet’s production demands for alternative energy.
Back to our regularly scheduled program.