Congress Tries Blocking US Military from Buying Biofuels
Congress has gone on the warpath to stop the U.S. military from going green. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a $554 billion defense spending bill to block the Department of Defense from buying alternative fuels if the price goes higher than oil prices — and the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee has adopted similar amendments for the Senate's spending bill.
Republicans justified the measures by saying the U.S. military could not afford to pay more for fuel prices in a time when the Pentagon must make budget cuts and slim down its arsenal, according to Bloomberg. But U.S. military officials said buying biofuels could boost national energy security by reducing dependence on foreign oil and safeguarding against rising fossil fuel costs. [U.S. Military Spending on Clean Energy Explodes ]
The Navy already plans to debut a carrier strike group, called the "Great Green Fleet," powered solely by alternative fuels in 2012. Both it and the Marine Corps expect to use 50 percent alternative fuels for all its ships, jets and helicopters by 2020. The Air Force has targeted using aviation fuels other than oil for 50 percent of its domestic needs by 2016, and the Army wants to boost non-petroleum fuel use by 10 percent each year in its vehicles.
The Department of Defense represents the single biggest U.S. consumer of energy — its consumption alone tops all but 35 countries at 375,000 barrels of oil per day.