Saturday, December 01, 2012

Senates votes on biofuels in Nov. 2012

The Hill writes of the Defense Production Act:

The biofuels the Defense Production Act supports are made from non-edible feedstocks, such as algae and switchgrass. Advocates say those fuels could provide a sustainable way to power the nation’s vehicle fleet.

But those fuels have not reached commercial scale, and many lawmakers are calling on the government to abandon the technology.

Production of advanced biofuels has barely made a dent in targets established in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. That has made the fuels, and the mandate that promotes their production, the subject of criticism from the petroleum industry and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

From within post U.S. Senate Restores Military Biofuels Programs :

This week, however, opponents of the restrictions struck back when NDAA was brought before the whole Senate for consideration. On Wednesday, a group of senators led by Mark Udall (D-CO) argued that the provision that prohibited DOD from purchasing more expensive alternative fuels was short-sighted. The United States needs to decrease its reliance on foreign oil, Udall said. Although biofuel prices are high now, he added, they are decreasing, and "will continue to drop if we keep making smart investments in smart technologies."

Yesterday, Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) took aim at the language in NDAA prohibiting DOD from constructing biofuel refineries together with the Departments of Energy and Agriculture. "I am pleased that the Senate voted … to preserve a program important to our military and the country's long-term national defense," she said.

Although the Senate votes are good news for biofuel proponents, the fate of the bill remains in doubt. The White House issued a statement yesterday criticizing several sections of the NDAA, including its limitation on biofuels. It said senior advisers would recommend that Obama veto the bill if it includes the problematic provisions.

See also With Senate's Support, Advanced Biofuel Industry Ready for Takeoff


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