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Domestic Fuel for Enhancing National Security Act of 2011

Location: Washington, DC

* Mr. Speaker, today I am introducing the bipartisan Domestic Fuel for Enhancing National Security (D-FENS) Act of 2011, which will allow Civilian Agencies and Military Agencies to extend multiyear contracts from the current limit of 5 years to up to 15 years for the purchase of advanced biofuels. I thank my colleague Mr. JONES of North Carolina for working with me on this issue, which will increase our national security and help build an American industry.

* Accounting for about 2 percent of U.S. energy consumption, the Department of Defense is the largest single consumer of energy in the country. According to Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ``[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.''

* U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Maybus has outlined several goals to lead the Navy toward a more energy-secure fleet. By 2015, the Navy will reduce petroleum use in the commercial fleet by 50 percent. By 2020, the Navy will produce at least 50 percent of shore-based energy requirements from alternative sources and 50 percent of total energy consumption will come from alternative sources.

* No one knows better than the Department of Defense that energy supplies are critical to combat troops and our national security. To ultimately realize these goals, we must dramatically scale-up advanced biofuel production in the United States. With added Congressional authority to purchase longer-term contracts, our defense sector could adopt domestically produced sustainable fuels for the security of our troops.

* Companies already have developed technologies to produce ``drop-in'' ready fuels, meaning our military could use these fuels in existing infrastructure, aircraft and ships. The longer-term contracts provided by this bill will not only increase our energy security, but can ultimately help unlock private investment for construction and development of large advanced biofuel refineries in the United States. In states like Washington, North Carolina, California, Montana and others, interests from the private sector, universities, ports 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.

* Washington state and the Pacific Northwest are well-positioned to commercialize aviation biofuels--all elements of the supply chain are feasible, and the region has come together to map out a strategic and sustainable path to bring advanced bio-based jet fuels to market. Already in the Northwest, 40 public and private stakeholders from academic research institutions, environmental advocacy, and government, and the aerospace and aviation, biofuels, and agriculture and forestry industries have formed the Sustainable Aviation Fuels Northwest (SAFN) initiative. This effort was convened by regional aviation leaders Boeing, Alaska Airlines, the region's largest airports--Port of Seattle, Port of Portland and Spokane International Airport--as well as Washington State University, a center of advanced biofuels research. Stakeholders include fuel producers, farm and forest managers, non-governmental organizations and key government leaders, including representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Defense Logistics Agency. This diverse group representing all points along the supply chain is working to create a ``flight path'' that will overcome challenges to deploying advanced aviation biofuels. This legislation will support Washington's effort to make the Northwest region a market leader in the advanced biofuel industry.

* With our nation's security and energy independence in mind, I urge my colleagues to support the Domestic Fuel for Enhancing National Security (D-FENS) Act of 2011.

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