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Energy Department Joins Agriculture and Navy in the Fight for Clean Energy Transportation

October 2, 2014 - 2:50pm

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DOE, USDA, and Navy are working with private industry to produce advanced drop-in biofuels that can be used by the Department of Defense and the private transportation sector. | Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy.

DOE, USDA, and Navy are working with private industry to produce advanced drop-in biofuels that can be used by the Department of Defense and the private transportation sector. | Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy.

Domestically produced renewable biofuels will soon be helping the U.S. military increase the nation’s energy security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create jobs in America. Earlier this month, on September 19, 2014, Energy Department (DOE) Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman joined Secretary Tom Vilsack of the Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Secretary Ray Mabus of the Department of Navy (Navy) to announce three projects that will produce renewable jet and diesel for the military. DOE, USDA, and Navy are working with private industry to produce advanced drop-in biofuels that can be used by the Department of Defense and the private transportation sector.

The U.S. military is a leader in technological innovation, and often serves as a testing ground for new technologies and innovations before they are brought to market. The Defense Department uses approximately 5 billion gallons of fuel annually, but is also a key market adopter for advanced biofuels technologies. The advantage of renewable diesel and jet fuel produced from facilities such as Emerald Biofuels on the Gulf Coast, Fulcrum Bioenergy in McCarran, Nevada, and Red Rock Biofuels, in Lakeview, Oregon, is that the fuels are fully compatible with existing delivery infrastructure and jet engines. 

The feedstock for these facilities— municipal solid waste, woody biomass, and waste oils, fats, and greases— will be converted to produce more than 100 million gallons of biofuels annually. That means hundreds of full-time, professional jobs for engineers and plant technicians, as well as several hundred construction jobs in the Gulf Coast, Nevada, and Oregon over the coming years. This joint U.S. government investment in clean energy innovation such as these drop-in biofuel facilities will help the nation to lead in the development of global clean energy technology markets.

Our national energy security must be advanced by reducing our dependence on foreign oil. Through the commitment and hard work of the Departments of Energy, Agriculture, and Navy, the vision of a renewable, stable, and cost-competitive fuel supply for our nation’s military is becoming a reality.

Advanced bioenergy technologies, such as this critical collaboration between the federal government and the private sector, will be a key element of America’s energy future.

To learn more about the Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office and our work in biofuels, visit our website

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