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.”





1 Responses

  1. Cliff Claven



    In the late 90's there was a website dedicated to the deathwatch of all the start-ups that burned through piles of investor cash with nothing to show for it but Aeron chairs and cherry wood office furniture. Somebody needs to restart that website for biofuels. This is the year for cellulosic ethanol to be exposed for the scam it is. Cello was a fraud. Range Fuels is gone without ever producing a drop after taking $156M from US taxpayers and more than $160M from private investors. The CEO of Codexis just quit to work on natural gas at Calysta after spending $400M of Shell's money on something he now admits is impossible. Iogen of Canada just got bought out. Gevo went back to corn. Amyris quit fuels in the US and moved to fish food and cosmetics. The only US firm to ever produce commercial RIN cellulosic ethanol just filed for Chapter 11 (Western Biomass Fuels aka Blue Sugars aka KL Energy, KiOR and INEOS Bio are on the same trajectory to their final reckoning. If our insolvent government ever cuts off farm program and tax credit subsidies, the corn ethanol syndicate of ADM, Cargill, and POET will collapse as well. Algae ponds and bioreactors are great ways to turn greenbacks into green pond scum, but not fuel. The sooner we end this fantasy and get back to reality the better. The huge piles of money and fossil fuel energy poured into biofuels in the name of improving national security is one of the epic ironies of our time. The US military is leading the federal government down the path of false hope and insolvency by pouring as much money as possible down this drain at the rate of $26 a gallon or more when there's now no money for toner for the printers because of sequestration. There are physical and economic laws involved that refuse to be broken by political rhetoric and deficit spending. This foolishness is the opposite of National Security.


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