U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus speaking at a Santa Barbara Navy League lunch
Paul Wellman

Santa Barbara was paid a visit Thursday by Ray Mabus, the 75th U.S. Secretary of the Navy, who told a gathering of the Santa Barbara Navy League about his plans for a green fleet of ships which, by 2020, will consume only half the 100,000 barrels of fossil fuel it now consumes every day.

To accomplish this, the Navy is looking at all sorts of alternative fuels, Mabus said.

Mabus’s visit to Santa Barbara comes a year and a half after the Navy League hosted the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan – the Navy’s latest, greatest, and largest aircraft carrier – which docked off the coast of Santa Barbara in January 2008.

Mabus is in charge of that ship, along with more than 280 other ships in the Navy, and oversees an annual budget of more than $150 billion. Mabus was nominated by President Barack Obama as Navy secretary in March. Formerly he was governor of Mississippi, and ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as well as surface warfare officer aboard the USS Little Rock.

Despite the fact that Santa Barbara is not a major port city, the Santa Barbara Navy League was the first such council to host the new secretary, according to organizers. He participated in a luncheon and addressed the audience of about 60 people at the Dreier Building on Miramonte Drive.


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