Many people don’t realize, Mabus says, that the U.S. “is still very much a maritime nation — 90 percent of the world’s commerce goes by oceans, and 95 percent of the world’s telecommunications goes underneath the oceans. The U.S. Navy is guaranteeing free access to those oceans for everyone, not just our own ships.”

The Navy and Marines, he says, constitute “the most flexible, most formidable expeditionary fighting force the world has ever known. We give the president the most options in the time of crisis — but to do this, one thing we absolutely must have is fuel.”

In a following press conference, Mabus said, “It has been proven over and over that if the military provides a market first, it then moves out to the rest of the industry, the rest of America. We’re absolutely committed to homegrown sources of energy.”