President Obama today announced that the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Energy, and Navy will invest up to $510 million during the next three years in partnership with the private sector to produce advanced 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,” says President Obama. “But supporting biofuels cannot be the role of 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 towards energy independence and strengthen communities across our country.”
The initiative responds to a directive from President Obama issued in March as part of his Blueprint for A Secure Energy Future, the Administration’s framework for reducing dependence on foreign oil. The biofuels initiative is being steered by the White House Biofuels Interagency Work Group and Rural Council, both of which are enabling greater cross-agency collaboration to strengthen rural America.
Increased use of advanced biofuels is a key component of the Obama Administration’s energy security agenda, but there is currently a lack of this manufacturing capability for next-generation drop-in biofuels in the United States.
To accelerate the production of bio-based jet and diesel fuel for military and commercial purposes, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus have developed a plan to jointly construct several drop-in biofuel plants and refineries. This effort will help address energy security and national security challenges, and will provide economic opportunities in rural America.
“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,” says Navy Secretary Ray Mabus. “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.”