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Congresswoman Duckworth Leads Effort to Develop Biofuels at Department of Defense

Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)—April 8, 2014. Today, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (IL-08) led several members of Congress in writing a letter to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies, expressing strong support for the inclusion of $60 million in Defense Production Act transfer authority for the Department of Energy. This will ensure that the public-private sector effort to develop an American, sustainable, advanced drop-in biofuel industry for defense purposes remains on track.

As part of a 2011 Memorandum of Understanding, the Department of the Navy, Department of Energy, and Department of Agriculture each committed to contributing $170 million to advance the commercialization timeline of U.S. advanced drop-in aviation and marine biofuels. The $60 million Department of Energy transfer authority will allow the project to advance. 

The letter is included below:  

April 1, 2014

The Honorable Mike Simpson
Chairman
Subcommittee Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies
House Committee on Appropriations
2362-B Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C.  20515
The Honorable Marcy Kaptur
Ranking Member
Subcommittee Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies
House Committee on Appropriations
1016 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C.  20515

Dear Chairman Simpson and Ranking Member Kaptur:

We write to express our strong support for the inclusion of $60 million in Defense Production Act transfer authority for the Department of Energy in the Fiscal Year 2015 Energy and Water Appropriations bill. This will ensure that the public-private effort to develop an American, sustainable, advanced drop-in biofuel industry for defense purposes remains on track.

As part of a 2011 Memorandum of Understanding, the Department of the Navy, Department of Energy, and Department of Agriculture each committed to contributing $170 million to advance the commercialization timeline of U.S. advanced drop-in aviation and marine biofuels. The $60 million Department of Energy transfer authority will allow this critical project to advance.  Because the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act made $70 million of the Department of Navy’s contribution contingent on Department of Energy matching funds, the transfer authority is also necessary for the Navy to continue their efforts.

This critical project will support American energy independence, ensure that our military remains the strongest in the world, protect the lives of brave American troops, and create clean energy jobs right here at home.

Congress has heard numerous times from military leaders that energy security of our military is a national security and military readiness imperative. Advanced renewable drop-in fuels will improve the reliability of fuel supplies to our military’s vehicles, ships, and aircraft. This will enhance our mission capability and protect American lives in some of the most dangerous parts of the world.

It is also makes fiscal sense. Oil price volatility has had major impacts on DoD’s budget, diverting critical funds from mission-essential programs like training and maintenance. For every $1 increase in the price per barrel of oil, DoD incurs $130 million in additional costs. At a time when the Department is under pressure to cut costs, this investment has the potential to produce major savings.

Lastly, we strongly believe our country can and should be a leader in advanced biofuel production. Reducing our dependence on foreign oil is in our national interest for many reasons, not the least of which is the opportunity to create high-paying, clean energy jobs in our home districts. We are proud that our military is the best in the world at developing innovative technology, and energy technology is no exception.

We appreciate your consideration of this critical priority and look forward to working with you as the Fiscal Year 2015 appropriations process gets underway. 

Source: duckworth.house.gov

 

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