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Senate votes to maintain military biofuel spending

By Erin Voegele | March 20, 2013

The U.S. Senate has voted down an amendment to H.R. 933 that would stripped $60 million in biofuels funding from the U.S. Department of Defense budget. The amendment was filed by Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., on March 14. H.R. 933 is a military appropriations bill titled the “Department of Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013.

The amendment, S.AMDT. 115, aimed to eliminate $60 million in funding allocated to the DOD’s biofuel program under the heading for advanced drop-in biofuel production, and reassign it to support military operations and maintenance expenses.

The Advanced Biofuels Association has spoken out in support of the Senate’s action to vote down the amendment. “The Senate has once again endorsed the importance of advanced biofuels in securing our energy future and creating jobs and economic growth,” said Michael McAdams, head of the ABFA.  “In fact, these drop-in fuels are not blocked by the blendwall and are coming to market with companies like KiOR now selling their first renewable drop-in diesel from cellulosic feedstock."

Novozymes has also applauded the Senate’s decision. “Every day we import oil, we’re putting our troops, families and country at needless risk. We can reduce that risk with a secure energy supply, including renewable fuels,” said Adam Monroe, president of Novozymes North America. “Imagine how much safer our troops and country will be when we’re making more fuel at home, instead of getting it from abroad. Our military understands its needs. Renewables are domestically-made and being used now. Let’s follow today’s bipartisan example in the Senate and let our military move forward getting its energy—and America another way to improve its security.”