Thursday, January 26, 2012

"State of the Union" skipped biofuels?

A piece in Ethanol Producer Magazine begins:

President Barack Obama stressed the need for the nation to “double-down” on clean energy during his Jan. 24 State of the Union address, but neglected to include biofuels in his list of domestically available energy sources, even while noting that the U.S. relied less on foreign oil last year than in any of the past 16 years. Instead, the president announced a plan to open more areas for offshore oil and gas drilling and emphasized the importance of natural gas, wind, solar and high-tech battery production.

However, at blogs.scientificamerican one had the following emphasis on biofuels:

The U.S. military constitutes a huge market for alternative fuels. The Air Force alone burns 2.4 billion gallons of jet fuel a year. The Department of Defense burns $18 billion worth of oil a year, four fifths of the federal governments’ energy tab.

In truth, a shift within the U.S. military to green fuels has been under way for more than a year. The U.S. Navy has been purchasing jet fuel derived from camelina—a derivative of canola—and a diesel like fuel derived from algae for its ships. The U.S. Air Force in 2010 began testing camelina oil in place of petroleum in its fuels as part of a program to derive as much as half of its fuel from alternative sources by 2016.

BUT implicitly acknowledged the absence of biofuels in the following:

I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy,” Obama said during his State of the Union address. ” I will not cede the wind or solar or battery industry to China or Germany because we refuse to make the same commitment here. We have subsidized oil companies for a century. That’s long enough. It’s time to end the taxpayer giveaways to an industry that’s rarely been more profitable, and double-down on a clean energy industry that’s never been more promising.”


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