WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Energy and Navy will invest up to $510 million during the next three years in a partnership to produce drop-in aviation and marine biofuels to power military and commercial transportation.
“Biofuels are an important part of reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil and creating jobs here at home,” President Obama said. “But supporting biofuels cannot be the role of the government alone. That’s why we’re partnering with the private sector to speed development of next-generation biofuels that will help us continue to take steps toward energy independence and strengthen communities across our country.”
The effort is part of the White House Biofuels Interagency Work Group and Rural Council. The increased use of advanced biofuels is a part of the Obama administration’s energy security agenda, but there is a lock of manufacturing capability for next-generation drop-in biofuels. To meet the challenge, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Secretary of Navy Ray Mabus have developed a plan to jointly construct or retrofit several drop-in biofuels plants and refineries.
“America’s long-term national security depends upon a commercially viable domestic biofuels market that will benefit taxpayers while simultaneously giving sailors and marines tactical and strategic advantages,” Mr. Mabus said. “Today’s announcement not only leverages our home-grown fuel sources to support our national security, but it also helps advance the biofuels market, which ultimately brings down the cost of biofuels for everyone.”