Congress clears way for biofuels in reconciled FY13 authorisation bill
By Eric Lindeman
In a major victory for the advanced biofuels industry, a House-Senate conference committee on the Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13) defence authorisation bill issued a joint report outlining a path forward for the Pentagon to fund a major biofuels initiative and for the military to continue increasing its alternative fuels use.
Republicans in both the House and Senate have been trying to restrict the Department of Defense's (DoD's) access to biofuel markets as well as its ability to support a domestic, commercial-scale biofuels industry, which the Pentagon views as an issue of national security as well as of operational and logistical flexibility.
Fiscal conservatives on congressional armed services committees have repeatedly expressed concern about the high cost of the Pentagon's green fuel initiatives - particularly about the cost of the biofuels that powered the US Navy's 'Great Green Fleet' demonstration in the international Rim of the Pacific naval exercises in July 2012. Entirely consumed in less than two days of operations, that fuel cost USD12 million, or about USD26 per gallon, compared to USD3.60 per gallon for conventional fuel.
However, the Pentagon's biofuels initiatives drew strong support from Republicans in farm states where energy feedstock crops are grown.197 of 622 words
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