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Navy delivers nearly a million gallons of 50/50 biofuel blend to USS Nimitz strike group

By Erin Voegele | July 18, 2012

Despite a push from some federal lawmakers to prevent military support, development and purchase of advanced biofuels, the Navy has forged ahead with operational testing activities.

On July 18, the American Forces Press Service reported that Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Henry J. Kaiser, which is providing logistical support for U.S. Pacific Fleet’s biennial Rim of the Pacific exercise off Hawaii, delivered 900,000 gallons of a 50-50 blend of advanced biofuels to the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Nimitz strike group.

The fuel delivery is part of the Navy’s Great Green Fleet demonstration, which the Military Sealift Command says allows the Navy to test, evaluate and demonstrate the cross-platform utility and functionality of advanced biofuels in an operational setting.

I think Advanced Biofuels Association president was absolutely correct when he called the testing a “significant achievement for America’s domestic biofuels industry.” McAdams was aboard the USS Nimitz, where he witnessed the testing activities.

“This is a proud moment for our nation as we’re seeing the results of American ingenuity and innovation in this home grown advanced biofuel that is successfully powering the world,” he said.

I’ve been following the military’s biofuel initiatives for several years, and am excited to see this new benchmark in testing achieved. Although some members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate have taken recent action to undermine the military’s efforts reduce dependence on foreign oil through the use of biofuels, the Navy has persevered.

I think it speaks highly of our military and its leadership that the U.S. DOD has made such a huge commitment to biofuels and other forms of renewable energy. In recent years, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has been an outspoken supporter of the advanced biofuels industry, and has done an excellent job of articulating why reducing military dependence on petroleum makes sense not only in terms of energy security, but also in terms of long-term potential for reducing the impact of petroleum price spikes on the military budget.

I commend the Navy for its biofuels testing activities, and am grateful for the support they have lent to our industry. Secretary Mabus, we thank you.