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Senate reaffirms support for military to develop biofuel plants

By The Advanced Biofuels Association | November 29, 2012

For the second time in two days, the U.S. Senate backed Department of Defense plans to use advanced biofuels as part of its strategy to achieve important national security objectives.

A broad coalition of organizations (listed below) representing farmers who grow energy crops, the advanced biofuels industry that converts these feedstocks into drop-in fuels, the customers who procure the fuels, and national security organizations today thanked Sens. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., Tim Johnson, D-S.D., Mark Udall, D-Colo., Patty Murray, D-Wash., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and other cosponsors for their important amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013.

The Defense Production Act 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 defense department 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 defense department’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 the defense department to enter into contracts to build and refurbish facilities to refine biofuels.

The amendment was passed by the Senate 54 to 41 on a bipartisan vote.

Advanced Biofuels Association 

Agriculture Energy Coalition 

Airlines for America 

American Farm Bureau Federation 

Biotechnology Industry Organization

National Biodiesel Board 

National Farmers Union 

Operation Free 

Pew Project on National Security, Energy and Climate

 

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