The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today applauded the Department of Defense’s announced public-private partnership opportunity to support an integrated domestic advanced drop-in biofuel biorefinery. The funding opportunity is designed to share the cost of establishing one or more first-of-a-kind biorefineries and feedstock supply chains to provide the U.S. military with already certified blends of biofuels.
Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section, stated, “The domestic advanced biofuel industry can play a huge part in promoting energy security, which is critical for military readiness and national security. Ensuring the reliability and affordability of fuel supplies through diversification to advanced drop-in alternative fuels is essential to sustain the U.S. military’s readiness, since oil price volatility has already negatively impacted military readiness. This year alone, the $30 increase in oil prices resulted in more than $3 billion in additional, unplanned costs to DoD. We have to realize we can’t fly planes with solar power or sail ships with batteries; advanced biofuels are critical for both civilian and military aviation and maritime uses.
“Private companies have made substantial investments and rapid progress in researching and developing advanced biofuels. Building new advanced biofuel biorefineries requires large capital investments at a time when capital formation has been hampered by the recent economic downturn. Public-private partnerships such as that announced today can help attract the additional private investment needed to complete the job. The Defense Department has used these partnerships many times in the past to ensure that we maintain a domestic capacity to produce materials that are vital to national security.
“Ensuring that fuel markets are open to new technologies by maintaining the Renewable Fuel Standard is also a fundamental necessity for the biofuels industry to attract investment and complete the job. Federal leadership and policy stability are necessary to achieving energy security.”