House lawmakers met this week to debate the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for FY2017 and one of the provisions up for debate is to exempt the U.S. military from biofuels use. The National Farmers Union (NFU) is calling on legislators to stop undermining national security and adopt the benefits of advanced biofuels.
“Biofuels aid national security by reducing our nation’s foreign energy dependence and contributing to our Administration’s broader climate goals. The recurring attempts to quietly neutralize biofuels through the defense appropriations process are disappointing,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “I am hopeful this provision will be successfully removed in further negotiations over the bill.”
The appropriations bill, as written, would exempt the military from Section 526 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which prohibits federal agencies from making bulk purchases of synthetic fuels with a larger greenhouse gas footprint than traditional petroleum. However, especially in the advanced biofuels industry, the military’s use of biofuels has been a long-standing source of encouragement for new technologies. These technologies, says NFU, that are held out of transportation fuel markets by the exploitative practices of Big Oil.
Johnson concluded, “Section 526 is an important aspect of the Energy Independence and Security Act, one that has tremendous implications for family farmers’ ability to protect food security in a changing climate. I encourage lawmakers to carefully weigh the benefits of biofuels as they consider this provision.”