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Thursday, July 05, 2012
RIMPAC Biofuel Contractors Soak Navy for $26/gallon
By Selected News Articles @ 10:49 PM :: 4432 Views :: National News, Ethics

Greening the fleet: Republicans criticize $26 a gallon biofuel being tested by the Navy

by John Platt, Mother Nature Network July 3, 2012 (excerpt)

The U.S. Navy has spent $26 a gallon for 900,000 gallons of biofuels mixed with petroleum for use in a training exercise, and Republicans in Washington aren't too happy about it.

The biofuel mix is being carried by the USNS Henry J. Kaiser, a replenishment oiler, to RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific) 2012, the world's largest international maritime exercise, as part of the Navy's plans to green its fleet by the year 2016....

The Kaiser and its fuel will be used to "test, evaluate and demonstrate the cross-platform utility and functionality of advanced biofuels in an operational setting," according to a Navy press release….

A Navy spokesperson told Fox News that the 900,000 gallons represent a single day's worth of fuel at RIMPAC….

At a recent press conference, Mabus said the Navy has the purchasing power necessary to increase biofuel production and lower prices…. But Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) disagrees. "I don't believe it's the job of the Navy to be involved in building ... new technologies," he told Reuters. "I don't believe we can afford it." According to The Hill, both McCain and Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) added amendments to last month's Department of Defense authorization bill to limit the use of biofuels by the department.

The Obama administration isn't letting the criticism slow down the process. This week the Navy, Department of Agriculture and Department of Energy announced $62 million in new biofuel investments, a public-private effort made possible under the Defense Production Act of 1950.

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