The US Departments of Agriculture, Energy and Navy will invest up to $510 million over the next three years in partnership with the private sector to produce advanced aviation and marine biofuels for military and commercial transportation.
The initiative is part of the Blueprint for A Secure Energy Future, the Obama administration’s framework for reducing dependence on foreign oil. The biofuels initiative is being steered by the White House Biofuels Interagency Work Group and Rural Council.
“(S)upporting biofuels cannot be the role of government alone,” said President Barack Obama. “That’s why we’re partnering with the private sector to speed development of next-generation biofuels that will help us continue to take steps towards energy independence and strengthen communities across our country.”
Although increased use of advanced biofuels is a key component of the administration’s energy security agenda, there is currently a lack of this manufacturing capability for next-generation drop-in biofuels in the US. To accelerate the production of bio-based jet and diesel fuel for military and commercial purposes, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus have developed a plan to jointly construct or retrofit several drop-in biofuel plants and refineries.
“It will support development of a new, rural-focused industry that will replace imported crude oil with secure, renewable fuels made here in the US,” said Energy Secretary Chu.
The government investment of up to $510 million will require substantial cost share from private industry, of at least a one-to-one match.
The US currently spends more than $300 billion on imported crude oil every year.