U.S. House Kills Attempt to Limit DOD’s Purchase of Biofuels

As recently reported by OPIS, the U.S. House Armed Services Committee recently rejected an amendment to the 2017 defense authorization bill that would have limited or stopped Department of Defense (DOD) efforts to increase its use of renewable fuels.

During a markup session, Representative Tim Walz (D-Minn.) offered an amendment to remove the language from the bill that could have limited the use of renewable fuels, noting the military push toward greater use of biofuels is an important national security issue.

DOD-seal“We spend half a billion dollars a day getting oil from countries that hate us,” Rep. Walz said, adding “reducing our dependency on foreign oil is not just an economic issue; it’s a vital national security issue. DOD recognizes that and that is why some of the most ground-breaking work on renewable energy is happening within DOD.”

Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) supported Rep. Walz’s amendment, stating, “DOD is the largest institution and consumer of energy in the world and as we’ve seen in recent years, global [oil] markets are volatile, despite massive domestic production increases.

“Just because the price of oil is low today does not mean it will not spike tomorrow and force military leaders to divert dollars away from mission priorities. At a time when we face new and dynamic threats from non-state actors like ISIS and aggression from China and Russia, this [language] prohibits our ability to provide for a robust national defense. The military has chosen to enter into a partnership with USDA to source a competitive American-made fuel source for our war fighters and our military needs the flexibility to diversify its fuel source as it sees fit.”

The committee defeated the amendment by a 33 – 29 margin.

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