Navy Warships and Fighter Jets Use Advanced Biofuels and Foster U.S. Innovation
Washington, D.C. (July 19, 2012) – The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) applauds the U.S. Navy’s operational debut of drop-in advanced biofuels in its ships and aircrafts this week at the 22-nation Pacific Rim training exercises off the coast of Hawaii. Advanced biofuels are a key factor in promoting energy security, which is critical for military readiness and national security.
The Navy used a 50-50 mix of biofuel and petroleum-based fuels in its demonstration, proving the green-fuels blend to be safe and effective. This is a huge step forward as continued reliance on foreign oil puts U.S. national security at risk and is a major economic drain. For every $0.25 rise in the price of jet fuel, the Department of Defense (DoD) must come up with an extra $1 billion annually, which must be diverted from training, maintenance, and other mission-essential programs.
“The dramatic Navy demonstration involving the Green Fleet and the use of biofuels produced through biotechnology shows the power of American innovation,” said Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section. “Several years ago the DoD Office of Net Assessment (ONA) wrote a report calling on the DoD to integrate biotechnology into the national defense infrastructure just as it had with chemistry, physics and other technologies. It is heartening to see the Navy doing just that. This is not just about advanced biofuels, it is about harnessing the awesome power of American biotech innovation to help make this country stronger and safer and this is a big step forward.”
Continued military use of advanced biofuels can help the technology become more commercially viable and cost competitive. In order to foster the U.S. lead in innovation, the federal government must continue to support development of the advanced biofuel industry. Private investment in the industry relies on policy stability.
"This was an important day for the U.S. Navy, American farmers, biofuel innovators, and for the nation,” said Matt Carr, managing director of policy for BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section, who was present at yesterday’s demonstration. “In this historic step towards greater American energy security, the young men and women serving on the USS Nimitz had 100 percent faith in the biofuel they were using, and in the mission of the Great Green Fleet. It's up to Congress now to give these men and women the tools they need to complete the mission by funding the Navy's Defense Production Act request.”