Biodiesel industry celebrates vote on US military use of biofuels

29 November 2012 20:52  [Source: ICIS news]

MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS) --Biodiesel trade associations and producers applauded on Thursday the US Senate vote this week to strike restrictions in its annual defense policy bill that would have limited the military's effort to develop biofuels for jets and warplanes.

The Senate voted 62-37 for an amendment to remove language in the National Defense Authorization Act that would have barred the military from buying the alternative fuels if they cost more than petroleum.

"This is great news," said a biodiesel producer. "There is a significant percentage of biodiesel that is bought by the military."

The amendment, issued by Mark Udall, a Democrat from Colorado, officially allows the US Department of Defense (DOD) to purchase a biofuel product that could potentially cost more than its fossil fuel equivalent and allows the DOD to continue its efforts to scale up biorefineries.

"Our military is on the cutting edge technologically, but much of our fighting capability relies on foreign fossil fuels and decades-old power systems," Udall said. "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."

"We applaud Senator Udall for his leadership on this issue," Ben Evans, a spokesman for the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) said. "It is great to see such a strong bipartisan majority supporting renewable energy and understanding how important it is for our national security that we continue to build on the progress we've made in developing clean, reliable sources of domestic energy."

Biodiesel is a fuel produced from renewable resources. The most commonly used feedstocks are rapeseed, soy and palm oil.

By: Leela Landress
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