Mark Udall, who serves on the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee and the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, welcomed news that the U.S. Department of Defense has awarded contracts for the production of cost-effective and domestically produced biofuel for the military. The three contracts, totaling $16 million for biofuel development and production, will be combined with $17.4 million in private investment in an effort to produce fuel at less than $4 per gallon by 2016.
Udall successfully fought last year to remove harmful provisions from the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act that would have severely limited the Department of Defense's ability to develop and use alternative fuels. He also forcefully and successfully argued this year against efforts to strike funding for military production of biofuels. Udall has strongly advocated for the U.S. military's efforts to invest in developing affordable alternative energy sources to help increase our warfighters' fighting capabilities and reduce the military's $18 billion annual fuel bill.
"Our men and women in uniform understand best that energy security is national security. These contracts are an important step toward true energy self-reliance and the development of cost-effective alternatives to foreign oil," Udall said. "These strategic investments will create jobs, boost scientific innovation and provide the military with lower, more stable fuel costs. Once again, our military is blazing a trail with new technologies that will benefit the entire country."
The U.S. Department of the Navy awarded Udall the U.S. Navy's Distinguished Public Service Award in February for his leadership in energy security and support for the Navy mission to develop and use alternative fuels.