U.S. Senate Reaffirms Support for Military's Use of Advanced Biofuels
The U.S. Senate backed Department of Defense (DoD) plans to use advanced biofuels as part of its strategy to achieve important national security objectives.
A broad coalition of organizations representing farmers who grow energy crops, the advanced biofuels industry which converts these feedstocks into drop-in fuels, the customers who procure the fuels, and national security organizations thanked Sens. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Susan Collins (R-M.E.) and other cosponsors for their important amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013.
The Defense Production Act (DPA) Advanced Drop-In Biofuels Production Project is focused on creating a public-private partnership that will provide incentives for private-sector investment in cost competitive, advanced biofuels production capability. DPA's long-term track record of success dates back to the 1950s. Its legislative authority has been used to support the development of critical U.S. defense industries including steel, aluminum, titanium, beryllium, semi-conductors, radiation-hardened electronics, and even the Navy's nuclear program.
Adopting advanced "drop-in" biofuels will help the DoD and the nation achieve broader national security objectives. Over-reliance on oil puts U.S. troops at risk of supply disruptions during military or humanitarian missions. Moreover, the oil market is unpredictable and the price per barrel of oil often fluctuates dramatically, which can have a significant impact on military budgets.
It is increasingly important to find domestically produced alternatives to improve the country's energy security, meet global energy demands, and provide jobs, while strengthening our military and domestic industry. The DoD's partnership with private industry is a critical step towards achieving these goals. Already, private companies have made substantial investments in research and development to develop these advanced biofuels. The amendment offered by the senators today will allow DoD to enter into contracts to build and refurbish facilities to refine biofuels. The amendment was passed by the Senate 54-41 on a bipartisan vote.