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Policy

Senate Would Allow Military Biofuels

by Andrea Widener
December 10, 2012 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 90, ISSUE 50

The Senate last week passed the National Defense Authorization Act (S. 3254) without proposed restrictions on military support of biofuels research. An amendment stripped a provision, which was opposed by the Department of Defense, that would have halted military support of pilot biofuel refineries. But use of biofuels could still be on the chopping block in a Senate-House of Representatives conference committee, which last week began to work out the final version of the legislation. The House-passed version (H.R. 4310) would prohibit the military from spending money on biofuels until their cost is on par with that of petroleum fuels. Republicans contend that DOD’s biofuels research is driven by environmental policies rather than military needs. DOD leaders argue that biofuels research could eventually lead to less volatile fuel prices.

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