U.S. House passes NDAA

By Anna Simet | December 21, 2012

Late Dec. 20, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the $633 billion National Defense Authorization Act for 2013 in a 315-107 vote.

The version must now be approved by the Senate.

The bill allows the Pentagon to continue its efforts to develop and utilize advanced biofuels, rejecting an earlier House attempt to block the U.S. military from its planned renewable fuels strategy by disallowing the purchase of fuels more expensive than petroleum, and to place limits on military assistance to companies working to construct commercial-scale biofuel plants.

Last month, the Senate voted in favor of two amendments to allow the U.S. military to continue its work with advanced biofuels. One amendment issued by Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., allows the U.S. Department of Defense to purchase biofuel product even when it potentially costs more than fossil-based fuels. It also allows the U.S. Department of Defense to continue efforts to scale up biorefineries.

The second amendment, issued by Sen. Kay Hagan, D.-N.C., gives the DOD the ability to diversify its fuel mix, and allows the department to invest in the construction of biorefineries.

"Congress and the Administration have offered a clear endorsement of our military's use of drop-in biofuels as an important part of our national security and energy independence," said Advanced Biofuels Association President Michael McAdams. "With this support, the advanced biofuels industry will continue to grow and be an important part of America's energy future."

Congress has left for the holidays, but the Senate is scheduled to return Dec. 27.