Navy carrier group powered partly by biofuel sets sail

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Navy on Wednesday launched its first carrier strike group powered partly by biofuel — a mix made from beef fat — calling it a milestone toward easing the military’s reliance on foreign oil.

The maritime branch touted the warships as the centerpiece of its “Great Green Fleet” — part of a Navy-wide initiative that aims to draw 50 percent of its power from alternative energy in four years.

For now, the mix fueling the ships is only 10 percent biofuels and 90 percent petroleum. The Navy originally aimed for a 50-50 ratio, but the cost was too high, though that could change as competition grows in the alternative fuel industry, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus told The Associated Press.