In Washington, the Senate Armed Services Committee adopted language that would prohibit the use of DOD funds for the production or sole purchase of an alternative fuel if the cost exceeds the cost of traditional fossil fuels used for the same purpose, except for testing purposes, an prohibit the DOD from entering into contracts to design, plan or construct a biorefinery unless officially authorized by law.
The Advanced Biofuels Association, the Algal Biomass Organization, Airlines for America, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, Growth Energy, and the Pew Charitable Trusts released the following joint statement:
“Continued reliance on foreign oil puts U.S. national security at risk. Oil market volatility has already wreaked havoc on military budgets, which came at the cost of new equipment and training for our troops and reduced military readiness. In fiscal years 2011 and 2012, DoD came up $5.6 billion short in its budget for military operations and maintenance because it spent more on fuel than anticipated. Moreover, the United States sends $1 billion overseas each and every day to pay for foreign oil, further draining resources from the U.S. economy.
“U.S. advanced biofuel producers have made rapid progress toward cost-competitiveness. The per-gallon cost of test quantities of advanced biofuels under DoD contracts has declined more than 90 percent over the past two years and will continue to decline as these technologies scale to commercial production.”
Novozymes president Adam Monroe commented, “Today’s vote was a lost opportunity. Biofuels are reducing costs for US consumers more than a dollar a gallon – and we should let that innovation do the same for our military. We look forward to working with our allies in the Senate and helping the military achieve its cost-reduction and transportation goals.”