US Senate completes mark-up on Defense budget, supports continuation of advanced biofuels program

May 25, 2014 |

US-capitolIn Washington, the Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act, following mark-up, is reported to not include any attempts to undermine the Defense Production Act’s Advanced Drop-In Biofuels Production Project, which protects the military’s ability to decide what types of fuels to purchase.

The House version of the NDAA offers strikingly different language — much more threatenening to the DPA program — as it did last year. The DPA program was supported in the final bill last year after a House-Senate conference to resolve differences in the bill.

According to Digest sources, “the NDAA Senate markup is done and we are hearing that the only anti-energy amendment was the Cruz amendment, and that it failed 11-15 (indicating continued bipartisan support on the Committee for defense energy initiatives). We also understand that no one filed a 526 amendment, or the biorefinery amendment. The Committee did include a provision similar to last year’s conference (Sec. 315) which codifies DOD policy on bulk purchases of drop-in alternative fuels.”

The DPA Project creates public-private partnerships to incentivize private-sector investment in cost-competitive, advanced biofuels production capability. This program is necessary to maintain military readiness and improve U.S. energy security, but it has come under political attack in previous NDAA legislation.

“By allowing the DPA’s Advanced Drop-In Biofuels Production Project to continue unimpeded, the Senate made the right choice to maintain a civilian capability vital to our national security,” said Michael Breen, leader of Operation Free, a coalition of veterans and national security experts that work to secure America with clean energy.“As the largest institutional consumer of fuel in the world, our military is dangerously vulnerable to the volatile global oil market. Domestically-produced alternatives improve American energy security, help supply our military around the world, and grow the economy here at home.”

The DPA program ensures that America can maintain the domestic civilian capability to continue to meet the military’s biofuels needs, and incentivizes innovation to anticipate demand. Already, the U.S. Navy has established a “Great Green Fleet” – an aircraft carrier strike group powered by a 50-50 mixture of biofuels and petroleum-based fuel. The Air Force certifies its aircraft to operate on 50-50 biofuels blends, and aims to source up to half of its domestic aviation fuel requirements from non-fossil-fuels like biofuels by 2016.

When the Department of Defense announced the first phase of contract awards under the program in May 2013, Operation Free applauded the move, along with a broad coalition of groups representing national security interests, pilots, the farmers who grow energy crops, and the advanced biofuels industry and its customers.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: ,

Category: Top Stories

Thank you for visting the Digest.