USDA & Navy Department pick renewable energy for Hawaii base

By Agri-Pulse Staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

Washington, March 18 – As part of stepped-up joint efforts to develop renewable energy sources for military operations on land and sea around the world, USDA and the Navy Department are co-hosting an all-day forum in Hawaii April 6. Speakers will include Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan and Jackalyne Pfannenstiel, assistant secretary of the Navy for installations and environment. The forum will be held on the Marine Corps Base-Hawaii.

Earlier this year, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support President Obama’s initiative to reduce energy consumption derived from fossil fuels and increase energy production from renewable energy sources. This energy initiative in Hawaii is a direct result of that MOU.

Hawaii has been selected as the location for the initial collaboration between USDA and the Navy because Hawaii’s energy costs are among the highest in the nation and imported oil provides 90 percent of the state’s energy. A viable agricultural sector in Hawaii generating additional income from selling biofuels can both improve energy security for Hawaii and help the rural economy.

Individuals interested in attending the forum should register early since seating is limited and arrangements must be made for access to the military base. To register go to: Registrations will be accepted until 4:00 p.m. (HST) (10 p.m. EST) March 26, 2010.  Press should contact Grace Hew Len, Navy Region HI, Environmental Public Affairs Officer at 808-473-2926 or email

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