Updated: Tuesday, 10 Apr 2012, 4:38 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 10 Apr 2012, 4:38 PM EDT
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - The director of the Navy's energy coordination office invoked the bombing of the USS Cole to illustrate the vulnerability the Navy faces because of its heavy reliance on oil to meet its energy needs.
The 2000 attack on the Norfolk-based destroyer occurred while it was in port in Yemen for refueling. The explosion was carried out by suicide bombers in a small boat, killing 17 sailors.
Cmdr. James Goudreau told hundreds at Old Dominion University on Tuesday that some of the most vulnerable periods for a ship occur during refueling, including when it happens at sea.
Goudreau said the Navy's push to develop alternative fuels is about improving its capability and keeping sailors safe, not about advancing a political agenda. Some Republicans have complained alternative fuels cost too much.