TO HOUSE REPUBLICANS for attempting to shut down the Navy’s biofuel efforts. By forbidding DoD to make or buy any alternative fuel that costs more than a “traditional” fossil fuel, the House Armed Services Committee knocks the wind out of Navy Secretary Ray Mabus’ attempt to ease his service’s — and by extension, the U.S. military’s — dependence on imported energy.
To be sure, the algae- and grease-based fuel loadout for this summer’s Great Green Fleet exercise will cost four times as much as its petroleum-based equivalent. The bill comes to $15 million. That’s a pittance in DoD budget terms, and a good investment in a diversified fuel stream. As with any nascent technology, the price of biofuel will come down — if there is a customer to support it.
The HASC language must still survive the rest of the 2013 budget process; let’s hope someone along the way realizes how shortsighted this move would be.