Military Spending on Biofuels Draws Fire

By Diane  Cardwell, New York Times:

When the Navy put a Pacific fleet through maneuvers on a $12 million cocktail of biofuels this summer, it proved that warships could actually operate on diesel from algae or chicken fat.

“It works in the engines that we have, it works in the aircraft that we have, it works in the ships that we have,” said Ray Mabus, secretary of the Navy. “It is seamless.”

The still-experimental fuels are also expensive — about $27 a gallon for the fuel used in the demonstration, compared with about $3.50 a gallon for conventional military fuels.

And that has made them a flash point in a larger political battle over government financing for new energy technologies.

“You’re not the secretary of energy,” Representative Randy Forbes, a Republican from Virginia, told Mr. Mabus as he criticized the biofuels program at a hearing in February. “You’re the secretary of the Navy… Read more


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