“Biofuels have the momentum”: US Senate votes 54-41 to clear Navy’s path to affordable, advanced biofuels capacity

November 30, 2012 |

In Washington, the US Senate voted 54-41 in favor of an amendment offered by Senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina to repeal section 2823 of the annual Defense appropriations bill.

Sec. 2823 of the FY13 NDAA (S. 3524) would have prohibited the Secretary of Defense or any other official from the Department of Defense (DoD) from entering into a contract to plan, design, refurbish, or construct a biofuels refinery or any other facility or infrastructure used to refine biofuels unless such planning, design, refurbishment, or construction is specifically authorized by law.

The Committee-passed annual Defense Authorization bill would have blocked efforts to develop a commercial supply of cost-competitive advanced biofuels as detailed in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Energy (DOE), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Udall and Hagan amendments

In the case of the Udall Amendment, observers noted that the provisions still have to survive a House-Senate conference on the Defense Bill, because the House passed a provision similar to the language that was deleted by the Udall Amendment.  However, the House did not pass a provision similar to the provision deleted by the Hagan amendment. “On that provision, we’re done,” noted Mike McAdams, president of the Advanced Biofuels Association.

On the overall impact of the two votes, McAdams added, “Today’s vote was loud and clear,” said Mike McAdams. “The Senate once again backed our nation’s military which considers advanced biofuels as an essential tool for our national security and energy independence.”

The bill gained support from Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who earlier in the week had opposed an amendment offered by Senator Mark Udall of Colorado to repeal section 313 of the annual Defense appropriations bill. Section 313 language, which was offered by Senator Inhofe and adopted in Committee, prohibits DOD from procuring alternative fuels if they cost more than their conventional counterparts.

Five Republicans who had voted for the Udall Amendment, opposed the Hagan amendment – Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Olympia Snow of Maine, and John Thune of South Dakota.

Two Democrats, Ron Wyden of Oregon and Claire McCaskill of Missouri did not vote but had been expected to side with the bill. Republicans Dick Lugar of Indiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Mike Johanns of Nebraska and Charles Grassley of Iowa supported the bill.

Industry reaction

Mike Breen, Executive DIrector of the Truman Project, said, “The DoD has a long history of encouraging private-public partnerships that result in new opportunities for civilian industries.  Advanced biofuels can be the next success story.  Senator Hagan’s amendment supports a Defense Production Act program that requires equal investments from government and private stakeholders to create full-scale advanced biofuels production capabilities.”

“This is the second successful vote in two days,” added Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis, “supporting renewable fuels and the message lawmakers are sending is clear – biofuels play a critical role in developing a diversified energy portfolio to meet our growing energy needs and increase our energy independence.

““Biofuels have the momentum,” said Adam Monroe, President of Novozymes North America, said. “In the last two days the Senate has voted twice to support biofuel development. Congress is moving America forward with public/private partnerships that are putting steel in the ground and creating careers on advanced biofuel projects while providing the stability and security the Department of Defense wants.

“We now have two examples in two days of the strength and momentum behind renewable fuels,” commented Bob Dinneen, CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association. “Americans believe in biofuels and see a future that is strong, bright and energy independent.”

Phyliis Cuttino, director of the Pew Project on National Security, Energy and CLimate, said that “the Senate’s strong and bi-partisan support for the Udall and Hagan amendments sends a clear message: the Pentagon’s clean energy initiatives to reduce dependence on foreign oil and strengthen our national security should be encouraged and protected.”

Roll-call: The geography of support

The geography of support is shown below – green representing states where both Senators voted in favor of the Udall amendment, blue representing a split vote, and brown representing states where both Senators voted against.

The full-size map is here.

 

Alphabetical vote by Senator Name

Akaka (D-HI), Yea

Alexander (R-TN), Nay

Ayotte (R-NH), Nay

Barrasso (R-WY), Nay

Baucus (D-MT), Yea

Begich (D-AK), Yea

Bennet (D-CO), Yea

Bingaman (D-NM), Yea

Blumenthal (D-CT), Yea

Blunt (R-MO), Nay

Boozman (R-AR), Nay

Boxer (D-CA), Yea

Brown (D-OH), Yea

Brown (R-MA), Nay

Burr (R-NC), Nay

Cantwell (D-WA), Yea

Cardin (D-MD), Yea

Carper (D-DE), Yea

Casey (D-PA), Yea

Chambliss (R-GA), Nay

Coats (R-IN), Nay

Coburn (R-OK), Nay

Cochran (R-MS), Nay

Collins (R-ME), Yea

Conrad (D-ND), Yea

Coons (D-DE), Yea

Corker (R-TN), Nay

Cornyn (R-TX), Nay

Crapo (R-ID), Nay

DeMint (R-SC), Not Voting

Durbin (D-IL), Yea

Enzi (R-WY), Nay

Feinstein (D-CA), Yea

Franken (D-MN), Yea

Gillibrand (D-NY), Yea

Graham (R-SC), Nay

Grassley (R-IA), Yea

Hagan (D-NC), Yea

Harkin (D-IA), Yea

Hatch (R-UT), Nay

Heller (R-NV), Not Voting

Hoeven (R-ND), Nay

Hutchison (R-TX), Nay

Inhofe (R-OK), Nay

Inouye (D-HI), Yea

Isakson (R-GA), Nay

Johanns (R-NE), Yea

Johnson (D-SD), Yea

Johnson (R-WI), Nay

Kerry (D-MA), Yea

Kirk (R-IL), Not Voting

Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea

Kohl (D-WI), Yea

Kyl (R-AZ), Nay

Landrieu (D-LA), Yea

Lautenberg (D-NJ), Yea

Leahy (D-VT), Yea

Lee (R-UT), Nay

Levin (D-MI), Yea

Lieberman (ID-CT), Yea

Lugar (R-IN), Yea

Manchin (D-WV), Yea

McCain (R-AZ), Nay

McCaskill (D-MO), Not Voting

McConnell (R-KY), Nay

Menendez (D-NJ), Yea

Merkley (D-OR), Yea

Mikulski (D-MD), Yea

Moran (R-KS), Nay

Murkowski (R-AK), Nay

Murray (D-WA), Yea

Nelson (D-FL), Yea

Nelson (D-NE), Yea

Paul (R-KY), Nay

Portman (R-OH), Nay

Pryor (D-AR), Yea

Reed (D-RI), Yea

Reid (D-NV), Yea

Risch (R-ID), Nay

Roberts (R-KS), Nay

Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea

Rubio (R-FL), Nay

Sanders (I-VT), Yea

Schumer (D-NY), Yea

Sessions (R-AL), Nay

Shaheen (D-NH), Yea

Shelby (R-AL), Nay

Snowe (R-ME), Nay

Stabenow (D-MI), Yea

Tester (D-MT), Yea

Thune (R-SD), Nay

Toomey (R-PA), Nay

Udall (D-CO), Yea

Udall (D-NM), Yea

Vitter (R-LA), Nay

Warner (D-VA), Yea

Webb (D-VA), Nay

Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea

Wicker (R-MS), Nay

Wyden (D-OR), Not Voting

 

Grouped By Vote Position

YEAs —54
Akaka (D-HI)

Baucus (D-MT)

Begich (D-AK)

Bennet (D-CO)

Bingaman (D-NM)

Blumenthal (D-CT)

Boxer (D-CA)

Brown (D-OH)

Cantwell (D-WA)

Cardin (D-MD)

Carper (D-DE)

Casey (D-PA)

Collins (R-ME)

Conrad (D-ND)

Coons (D-DE)

Durbin (D-IL)

Feinstein (D-CA)

Franken (D-MN)

Gillibrand (D-NY)

Grassley (R-IA)

Hagan (D-NC)

Harkin (D-IA)

Inouye (D-HI)

Johanns (R-NE)

Johnson (D-SD)

Kerry (D-MA)

Klobuchar (D-MN)

Kohl (D-WI)

Landrieu (D-LA)

Lautenberg (D-NJ)

Leahy (D-VT)

Levin (D-MI)

Lieberman (ID-CT)

Lugar (R-IN)

Manchin (D-WV)

Menendez (D-NJ)

Merkley (D-OR)

Mikulski (D-MD)

Murray (D-WA)

Nelson (D-FL)

Nelson (D-NE)

Pryor (D-AR)

Reed (D-RI)

Reid (D-NV)

Rockefeller (D-WV)

Sanders (I-VT)

Schumer (D-NY)

Shaheen (D-NH)

Stabenow (D-MI)

Tester (D-MT)

Udall (D-CO)

Udall (D-NM)

Warner (D-VA)

Whitehouse (D-RI)

NAYs —41
Alexander (R-TN)

Ayotte (R-NH)

Barrasso (R-WY)

Blunt (R-MO)

Boozman (R-AR)

Brown (R-MA)

Burr (R-NC)

Chambliss (R-GA)

Coats (R-IN)

Coburn (R-OK)

Cochran (R-MS)

Corker (R-TN)

Cornyn (R-TX)

Crapo (R-ID)

Enzi (R-WY)

Graham (R-SC)

Hatch (R-UT)

Hoeven (R-ND)

Hutchison (R-TX)

Inhofe (R-OK)

Isakson (R-GA)

Johnson (R-WI)

Kyl (R-AZ)

Lee (R-UT)

McCain (R-AZ)

McConnell (R-KY)

Moran (R-KS)

Murkowski (R-AK)

Paul (R-KY)

Portman (R-OH)

Risch (R-ID)

Roberts (R-KS)

Rubio (R-FL)

Sessions (R-AL)

Shelby (R-AL)

Snowe (R-ME)

Thune (R-SD)

Toomey (R-PA)

Vitter (R-LA)

Webb (D-VA)

Wicker (R-MS)

Not Voting – 5
DeMint (R-SC)

Heller (R-NV)

Kirk (R-IL)

McCaskill (D-MO)

Wyden (D-OR

 

Grouped by Home State

Alabama: Sessions (R-AL), Nay Shelby (R-AL), Nay
Alaska: Begich (D-AK), Yea Murkowski (R-AK), Nay
Arizona: Kyl (R-AZ), Nay McCain (R-AZ), Nay
Arkansas: Boozman (R-AR), Nay Pryor (D-AR), Yea
California: Boxer (D-CA), Yea Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
Colorado: Bennet (D-CO), Yea Udall (D-CO), Yea
Connecticut: Blumenthal (D-CT), Yea Lieberman (ID-CT), Yea
Delaware: Carper (D-DE), Yea Coons (D-DE), Yea
Florida: Nelson (D-FL), Yea Rubio (R-FL), Nay
Georgia: Chambliss (R-GA), Nay Isakson (R-GA), Nay
Hawaii: Akaka (D-HI), Yea Inouye (D-HI), Yea
Idaho: Crapo (R-ID), Nay Risch (R-ID), Nay
Illinois: Durbin (D-IL), Yea Kirk (R-IL), Not Voting
Indiana: Coats (R-IN), Nay Lugar (R-IN), Yea
Iowa: Grassley (R-IA), Yea Harkin (D-IA), Yea
Kansas: Moran (R-KS), Nay Roberts (R-KS), Nay
Kentucky: McConnell (R-KY), Nay Paul (R-KY), Nay
Louisiana: Landrieu (D-LA), Yea Vitter (R-LA), Nay
Maine: Collins (R-ME), Yea Snowe (R-ME), Nay
Maryland: Cardin (D-MD), Yea Mikulski (D-MD), Yea
Massachusetts: Brown (R-MA), Nay Kerry (D-MA), Yea
Michigan: Levin (D-MI), Yea Stabenow (D-MI), Yea
Minnesota: Franken (D-MN), Yea Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea
Mississippi: Cochran (R-MS), Nay Wicker (R-MS), Nay
Missouri: Blunt (R-MO), Nay McCaskill (D-MO), Not Voting
Montana: Baucus (D-MT), Yea Tester (D-MT), Yea
Nebraska: Johanns (R-NE), Yea Nelson (D-NE), Yea
Nevada: Heller (R-NV), Not Voting Reid (D-NV), Yea
New Hampshire: Ayotte (R-NH), Nay Shaheen (D-NH), Yea
New Jersey: Lautenberg (D-NJ), Yea Menendez (D-NJ), Yea
New Mexico: Bingaman (D-NM), Yea Udall (D-NM), Yea
New York: Gillibrand (D-NY), Yea Schumer (D-NY), Yea
North Carolina: Burr (R-NC), Nay Hagan (D-NC), Yea
North Dakota: Conrad (D-ND), Yea Hoeven (R-ND), Nay
Ohio: Brown (D-OH), Yea Portman (R-OH), Nay
Oklahoma: Coburn (R-OK), Nay Inhofe (R-OK), Nay
Oregon: Merkley (D-OR), Yea Wyden (D-OR), Not Voting
Pennsylvania: Casey (D-PA), Yea Toomey (R-PA), Nay
Rhode Island: Reed (D-RI), Yea Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea
South Carolina: DeMint (R-SC), Not Voting Graham (R-SC), Nay
South Dakota: Johnson (D-SD), Yea Thune (R-SD), Nay
Tennessee: Alexander (R-TN), Nay Corker (R-TN), Nay
Texas: Cornyn (R-TX), Nay Hutchison (R-TX), Nay
Utah: Hatch (R-UT), Nay Lee (R-UT), Nay
Vermont: Leahy (D-VT), Yea Sanders (I-VT), Yea
Virginia: Warner (D-VA), Yea Webb (D-VA), Nay
Washington: Cantwell (D-WA), Yea Murray (D-WA), Yea
West Virginia: Manchin (D-WV), Yea Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea
Wisconsin: Johnson (R-WI), Nay Kohl (D-WI), Yea
Wyoming: Barrasso (R-WY), Nay Enzi (R-WY), Nay

 

 

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