Senate votes in favor of DOD, biofuels development

By Luke Geiver | November 28, 2012

The U.S. Senate believes the U.S. Department of Defense should have the ability to test and purchase advanced biofuels. The Senate passed an amendment, issued by Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., by a vote of 62-37 that allows the DOD to continue its development and work in the advanced biofuels sector.

“Today’s strong bipartisan vote affirms that we should allow our military leaders to continue to develop and use advanced alternative fuels in order to bring down costs and improve mission capabilities,” Udall said regarding the vote.

The amendment issued by Udall officially allows the DOD to purchase a biofuel product that could potentially cost more than its fossil fuel equivalent, and, the amendment allows the DOD to continue its efforts to scale up biorefinieries.

Following the vote, a group of biofuel industry stakeholders issued a thank you message to Udall. The group included the Advanced Biofuels Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, Biotechnology Industry Organization, Growth Energy, National Biodiesel Board and the Truman Project.

Another group, Environmental Entrepreneurs, also issued a statement voicing its supports of the Senate’s vote. Nicole Lederer, co-founder of Environmental Entrepreneurs said that the Senate rightly stood behind America’s military. “From commercial aviation to the internet, the military has historically led some of our nation’s greatest economic transformations—and the military’s leadership on biofuels is no different,” she said. “Military programs are already driving innovation, private-sector investment and job creation in the biofuel industry. Now that the market has a clear signal from Washington, that growth can continue.”

The House of Representatives has yet to vote on a similar defense authorization bill.