Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced companion legislation to a bipartisan bill sponsored in the U.S. House by Rep. Jay Inslee to extend the length of contracts between the Department of Defense and biofuel producers. The Domestic Fuel for Enhancing National Security Act of 2011 would allow the Department of Defense to increase long-term contracts with biofuel producers from 5 years to 15 years for the purchase of advanced biofuels. Lowering our military's dependence on fossil fuels would increase the security of our troops and unlock opportunities to make investments in the construction and development of large private biofuel refineries in the United States.
"The military is our nation's largest consumer of energy, and we need to do everything we can to help them reduce their dependence on fossil fuel," said Senator Murray. "I'm proud to work with Senator Cantwell and Representative Inslee to make sure our military can extend the long-term contracts they have with biofuel producers. Not only will this increase the security of our troops who depend on a stable fuel supply, but it will also make critical investments in our nation's biofuel industry, boost regional economies, and create jobs."
"American-made advanced biofuels will strengthen our national security and support local economies," Senator Cantwell said. "I applaud the Department of Defense for taking the first steps to get off of imported oil and onto biofuels that can be made right in Washington state. This legislation will give the private sector the certainty it needs to invest in growing our clean energy economy."
"Building our biofuel supply chain will create jobs and new economic opportunities in the State of Washington," said Rep. Jay Inslee. "This common sense, bipartisan legislation will give the military access to the clean, home grown energy to make our troops more secure and unleash private investment. Washingtonians are leading the way in the clean energy economy and I'm proud to be working with Senator Murray and Senator Cantwell on this legislation."
The Department of Defense is the largest single consumer of energy in the country, accounting for approximately 2 percent of U.S. energy consumption. Producing biofuels domestically using algae and plants will create jobs and secure the U.S.'s competitive edge in the field of alternative energy.