- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Navy is going to celebrate Earth Day by having some of its F-18s burn biofuels. I know this is a good thing (the U.S. military consumes an enormous amount of fuels, I think accounting for about 1.5 percent of total U.S. oil consumption) but it still seems odd to me to have warplanes going green.
As the article points out, fuel sources have huge implications for military forces, with Navy ships moving from coal to oil to nuclear propulsion. Indeed, I remember reading that the switch from coal to oil even changed the structure of the British Empire, as "coaling stations" were no longer needed.