Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) has reintroduced his anti-biofuels amendments and they have been passed. The amendments have been included in the House version of the FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act. One amendment, H.R. 4435 prohibits the Department of Defense from purchasing biofuels unless the biofuels until certain date requirements are met:
Except as provided in subsection 3 (b), none of the amounts authorized to be appropriated by this Act or otherwise made available for the Department of Defense may be used to purchase or produce biofuels until the earlier of the following dates: ( 1) The elate on which the cost of the biofuel IS equal to the cost of conventional fuels purchased by the Department. (2) The date on which the Budget Control Act of 2011 (Public Law 112-25), and the sequestration in effect by reason of such Act, are no longer in effect. (b) EXCEPTIONS. the limitation under subsection (a) shall not apply to biofuels purchased ( 1) in limited quantities necessary to complete test and certification; or (2) for the biofuel research and development efforts of the Department.
Rep. Conaway said of the passage of his amendments, “It is foolish to require the military to purchase biofuels that are far more expensive than traditional petroleum products, which is why I offered an amendment that would allow the Department of Defense to only produce and procure biofuels if the cost is equal to conventional fuels or sequestration is replaced with an exemption for research and development.”
He continued, “I also offered an amendment that would prohibit the Department of Defense from developing their own biofuel refineries. Allowing the Pentagon to subsidize and develop its own biofuels industry is an abuse of the Defense Production Act. These amendments are necessary at a time when our military is already facing enormous budget constraints.
“It is not the job of the Department of Defense to develop the biofuel industry,” added Conaway. “As the bill moves forward, I will continue to fight to reverse these efforts to use the Department of Defense to prop up the biofuels industry.”
Truman National Security Project Executive Director Michael Breen responded to the amendments proposed by Rep. Conaway to the House’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act that would constrain the Department of Defense (DoD) from investing in energy security initiatives.
Breen, a former U.S. Army officer and leader of the clean energy campaign, Operation Free, said: “This is Déjà vu all over again. In what has become an annual tradition, Congressman Michael Conaway has proposed amendments that would limit the Pentagon’s use of advanced biofuels, directly affecting the mission capability of our deployed forces. Our military leaders have been crystal clear: developing next generation fuels and using energy smarter are national security imperatives.”
“The military is investing in renewable and energy efficient technologies that are promoting energy security for our troops abroad and here at home,” Breen added. “Congress needs to stop prioritizing politics over national security and listen to our military leaders who have stated over and over again that these investments are crucial for strengthening our national and economic security.”