National Defense Authorization Act Clears Conference Committee

By Erin Voegele | December 19, 2012

The National Defense Authorization Act has finally moved through the conference committee process, with the conference committee report filed late Dec. 18. The House and Senate are expected to vote on the 1,613-page bill this week. Assuming the legislation passes in each legislative branch, and is signed into law by Obama, the military’s ability to invest in and use biofuels should be secured.  

A fact sheet released by the House Armed Services Committee Dec. 18 provides some highlights of the conference report. Regarding biofuels, the fact sheet said that the legislation has placed limits on the DOD’s ability to spend fiscal year 2013 Defense Production Act funds on biofuel refinery construction until they receive matching funds form the DOE and USDA.

While placing a limit on when the DOD can dedicated funds to biorefinery construction may not seem ideal, in this political environment, I think our industry should consider it a victory. There are a lot of federal lawmakers that would have liked to see the ability of the DOD to spend any money on biofuels completely eliminated. That didn’t happen, thanks to the many senators and representatives that understand the value biofuels can offer to our armed forces.

As we near the end of 2012, I only hope the same kind of positive progress can be made on the Farm Bill.