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Domestic Fuel for Enhancing National Security (D-FENS) Act of 2010

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

* Mr. INSLEE. Madam Speaker, Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff recently commented at the 2010 Energy Security Forum that ``[the Department of Defense] is using 300,000 barrels of oil every day. The energy use per soldier creeps up every year. And our number-one import into Afghanistan is fossil fuel.'' Admiral Mullen understands how critical an energy supply is to a combat troop; but how safe are our troops if this oil comes from overseas? Our defense sector should adopt more sustainable fuels, which can be produced here in the United States; for the security of our troops.

* As an initial step forward, the Secretary of the Navy, Ray Maybus, outlined five formal energy goals to lead the Navy toward a more energy secure fleet:

* 1. Evaluation of energy factors will be mandatory when awarding Department of the Navy contracts for systems and buildings.

* 2. Department of the Navy (DoN) will demonstrate a Green Strike Group in local operations by 2012 and sail it by 2016.

* 3. By 2015, DoN will reduce petroleum use in the commercial fleet by 50 percent.

* 4. By 2020, DoN will produce at least 50 percent of shore-based energy requirements from alternative sources; 50 percent of Navy and Marine Corps installations will be net-zero.

* 5. By 2020, 50 percent of total energy consumption will come from alternative sources.

* To ultimately realize these goals we need to dramatically scale up advanced biofuel production in the U.S. One way to help scale this nascent industry is to allow government entities to engage in longer term contracts with fuel producers. These longer term contracts will provide additional market certainty and will ultimately help unlock private investment for construction and development of large advanced biofuel refineries.

* That is why I introduced the Domestic Fuel for Enhancing National Security (D-FENS) Act 2010. This bill extends the multi-year contracting authority for advanced biofuels from 5 years to 15 years.

* In the great state of Washington, interests from the private sector, universities, and major airports are already working to bring the first generation of biofuels to the market, and their efforts can be greatly enhanced by this legislation. These fuels are based on plants such as camelina, jatropha, and even algae; plants that can be grown right in the Pacific Northwest. In addition to being able to grow these feedstocks in our own backyard, research on the next generation of biofuels is also creating jobs at our highly regarded research institutions. These efforts will make sure that the U.S. secures its competitive edge in this field.

* In closing, I urge my colleagues to cosponsor this bill, and hope that we can work together to move it toward passage as soon as possible.

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