Senators Gird for Fight over U.S. Navy’s ‘Green Fleet’
by Roberta Rampton and Susan Cornwell (Reuters) U.S. senators who support the Pentagon’s push to expand its use of biofuels said they have a plan to answer critics who argue the fuel is far too expensive to help develop at a time when the military faces massive cuts.
…”We have bipartisan support to undo the work of the committee,” said Senator Mark Udall, a Democrat from Colorado who is leading the charge.
When the defense authorization bill reaches the Senate floor, Udall said biofuels supporters may try to amend it to expressly authorize the Navy to develop biofuels to power ships and aircraft – or they could hold a vote to remove the McCain and Inhofe provisions.
…Republican Senator Charles Grassley said the military should be allowed to continue its “investment” so the United States can develop more alternative fuels.
…Grassley, known for his backing of ethanol made from corn grown in his home state of Iowa, said he believes the powerful U.S. oil industry is behind a series of efforts to pare back government support for biofuels.
House Republicans have proposed cutting Agriculture Department programs aimed at developing new types of biofuels, and are also questioning a federal mandate that ensures refiners blend gasoline with ethanol and other biofuels.
“It’s Big Oil. They don’t want any competition. They want to control everything,” Grassley said. READ MORE