It looks like Blue's fighting Red over the Green.

Democratic members of Congress and some U.S. military leaders are planning to fight the Republican-led effort to quash efforts to expand use of biofuels for the U.S. military, the Colorado Independent reports.

Proponents of more biofuel use by the military say they can help hedge against the type of fuel-price increases that will cost the federal government $1.3 billion in 2012. Petroleum use also causes safety issues. About one in 30 convoys designed to ensure the operation of refueling lines in Iraq and Afghanistan has led to a soldier casualty. More petroleum use also causes more greenhouse gas emissions, and the resulting climate change causes natural disasters that boost disaster-relief requirements from the military, biofuel proponents say.

Last week, the Talking Points Memo blog reported that a Republican-led group within the House Armed Services Committee put at risk hundreds of millions of dollars worth programs approved during the past few years by voting to disallow the U.S. Department of Defense from paying more for biofuels that would be used in military vehicles than regular fuels. Such a ban would reverse projects such as last August's a three-year, $510 million project with the USDA and DoD that was designed to develop biofuels for the private sector.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 54 Comments
      Marco Polo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Most military vehicles are diesel. The reason is simple, diesel is harder to ignite and it's fumes are less volatile. Bio-diesel is even less volatile, and far more difficult to ignite. The US want to gain experience to fight wars in circumstance of Oil shortages, or where the enemy is dependant on bio-fuel. The PLA, is receiving billions of dollars (even trillions) to develop the PLA's capacity to replace over 80% of oil based fuel with Bio-fuels. PRC defence spending is very shrewd. Bio-diesel production is very difficult to destroy, despite the enemy possessing air superiority and superior weapons technology. It's also not as wasteful, since in peace time it can be sold on the civilian market as an additive to gasoline and diesel. For the House Armed Services Committee, to inhibit the US military to successfully progress with such a strategically important project is foolish in the extreme !
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      Dammit, he figured us out! I love pollution because as being a right winger, I don't breath the same way humans do, not do I enjoy clean water. Pollution is nutritious to us. And since 47% of the population pay no federal income tax, which tax payers are we against anyway? But no worries, I can do it far better than you. Ehem.... Those mean spirited hateful bigoted sexist racist homophobic children starving old people throwing into the street radical right wing bible thumping extremists bent on sending all jobs over seas so old people have to eat dog food prior to dying from no healthcare because they would be immortal if republicans didn't deny them healthcare and especially to wheelchair bound gay baby aborted aids patients from minority immigrant communities..... Whew. Meanwhile, in other news, e clock is ticking on Europe, prior to its collapse due to overspending with the countries that actually cut spending, like Sweden and Switzerland, now thriving, and governments that raised spending, like Spain Ireland Italy's and Greece, teetering. But if we do it here....it will work....
      • 2 Years Ago
      I can understand the use of biofuels but to use the biofuels proponents’ argument is silly, that is: "More petroleum use also causes more greenhouse gas emissions, and the resulting climate change causes natural disasters that boost disaster-relief requirements from the military, biofuel proponents say." However, the argument that the military's use of biofuels to aid in lowering our dependence on foreign oil is logical. In addition, the demand by the military for the supply of biofuel would help encourage the manufacturing of biofuel in the United States and subsequently, it would be a positive effect on our economy with the byproduct of a "green flavor" to our economy.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      Um.. kind of a repeat article, isn't it... :P
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        that I'm often critical doesn't mean you can pull it off too. you have to make sure you are right first, not just criticize a lot. you make too many mistakes
      Ashton
      • 3 Years Ago
      bio-fuels are a waste, if the military wants to ditch gasoline, then invest in batter technologies.
        me
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ashton
        um how would they power the battery magic pixie dust ? cmon wake up bio is better than pure oil .. solar is not ready & hydro is not ready
        super390
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ashton
        In fact, the Army already buys zinc-air batteries as portable power sources, and probably at a premium intended to help the manufacturer develop better batteries.
        Ashton
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ashton
        lol my brain combined better & battery *better battery technologies*
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ashton
        Batteries are good for light vehicles . . . but for most of what the military does (planes & tanks), you need liquid fuel. There should be an EV motorcycle cavalry though. You could launch night attacks from afar with zero radar signal and no sound.
        GoodCheer
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ashton
        Spec is right. And also, while being limited to 80, 100, 150 miles in a household vehicle is little encumbrance to most multi-vehicle households, in this context it could prevent the kind of emergency response that would otherwise save lives.
      Jo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Navy's Big Biofuel Bet: 450,000 Gallons at 4 Times the Price of Oil (12/5/11) The Navy just signed deals to buy 450,000 gallons of biofuels — arguably the biggest purchase of its kind in U.S. government history. The purchase is a significant step for Navy Secretary Ray Mabus' plans to transform the service into an energy-efficient fleet. But at approximately $15 per gallon — nearly four times the price of traditional fuel — the new fuels won't come cheap. The $12-million purchase, expected for months, will all be used this summer off the coast of Hawaii. There, supersonic F/A-18 jets will launch from the deck of an aircraft carrier, powered by fuels fermented from algae. A 9,000-ton destroyer and a cruiser will join it on a voyage across the Pacific, using fuel made from fats and greases. (The carrier itself runs on nuclear power.) It'll be the first demonstration of the so-called "Great Green Fleet" — an entire aircraft-carrier strike group relying on alternative energy sources...... Two companies will split the Navy order. Dynamic Fuels, half-owned by agribusiness giant Tyson Foods, converts fats and waste greases into biofuels. Solazyme uses algae as a means of fermenting everything from plant matter to municipal waste into fuel. Both are considered leaders in the next-gen biofuel industry — Dynamic is one of the first companies in the field to have a commercial-scale refinery up-and-running. Solazyme has already delivered 150,000 gallons of its fuels to the Navy. Substantial hurdles remain, however. The Navy previously paid about $1,000 for each barrel of biofuel it bought to test out in its jets. This new purchase, at first, will cost just as much: $26 per gallon, or $1,092 per barrel. That biofuel will then be blended with an equal amount of fossil fuel, producing 900,000 gallons — and an effective price of about $15 per gallon for that 50/50 blend. It's "roughly half of what was paid in 2009," according to Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy Tom Hicks, who serves as Mabus' point man on energy issues. But it is still far more than the Navy currently pays for its JP-5 jet fuel: $3.97 per gallon, or $167 per barrel. http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/12/navy-biofuels/ Anybody want to guess what famous woman politician's family owns Tyson?
        Jo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jo
        I wouldn't mind the armed services using biofuels but I think the companies who want to be the big dogs in the arena should not be allowed to charge $1100.00 a barrel. Either the govt. itself should set up and produce bio-fuel in order to fuel itself at-cost or Tyson and Dynamic should go away and come back when they can sell their product to the govt. for less than $26. per gallon.
          GoodCheer
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Jo
          "Tyson and Dynamic should go away and come back when they can sell their product to the govt. for less than $26. per gallon." How do you think the research and development necessary to bring the price down should be funded? Getting funding for primary research is very very hard. A results-based client like the military insures not only that these companies have a revenue stream, but also that the impetus is on production efficiency.
          Mark Schaffer
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Jo
          Jo, Do you KNOW what externalities are?
      Edge
      • 3 Years Ago
      The military is certainly not about efficiency. Vehicle weight (tanks, jeeps) have gone up enormously over the years. There is no where near enough biofuels to meet all the military needs. I have no problems subsidizing an industry to help it get it's off it's feet, but does anyone here know what the final "cost" will be for these biofuels, after the technology has matured? I doubt it. Also, just because it has the word "bio" in it, does not make it clean, or "green". I like the ideal of producing fuel from algae, but like solar, I think that's a technology that will require massive amounts of land, and infrastructure to produce large amounts. If these companies cannot attract investors to pay for their startup, then you have to wonder, what is the long term potential.
        EZEE
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Edge
        The 'cyclone' engine that is/was being developed for the M1 Tank (a small engine so they could shut off the huge engine if the tank was parked and have the electronics still on) had a nifty concept and it could burn about anything - in theory, you could even jam paper or wood into it and it would still work. Since it could run on anything - including fossil fuels, I would think research could still continue (and, I hope it does).
          Edge
          • 7 Months Ago
          @EZEE
          I sometimes wondered, what would have been the state of steam engine technology if it continued to have R&D over the last 100 years. Seems that engine is it. It's nice seeing a fellow conservative here, that's also "green". :)
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      Here is an actual article that discusses the issue: http://grist.org/renewable-energy/the-promise-and-peril-of-a-shift-to-military-biofuels/
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is an excellent wedge issue for Democrats running for Congress in 2012. Americans are strongly in favor of energy independence while Republicans seem to be in the pockets of the international oil companies by opposing biofuel development (even for the military) and the Chevy Volt. Democrats need to make this a huge issue, IMO, with tons of political ads on this issue on television! Marcel F. Williams
        EZEE
        • 3 Years Ago
        Humorously, to or row ther will be a story on ethanol and everyone except Gorr and carney will be against it, and if you are for it, you are evil.
        Marco Polo
        • 3 Years Ago
        Marcel F. Williams Marcel, it's kinda depressing seeing you repeating these old conspiracy theories. The largest private investors in bio-fuels are oil companies, so they would be lobbying against themselves ! Chevron, yes Chevron, is the worlds largest investor in Geo-thermal Energy. Chevron is a major electricity provider, why would Chevron attack it's own market ?
          EZEE
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Its been a while since I saw it. Besides, it's Monty python. Silliness occurs.
          Marco Polo
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @Ezee, Er,..wasn't it the Sumerian suicide squad ? (clad like Japanese) ?. But, I know what you mean. Your economic argument is obviously valid, however it does have one flaw. Countries like Switzerland with well informed disciplined voters, and a cohesive society can accept what's in the common good because the populace believe that the nation (voters) are responsible for the actions of the government. This mentality, allows for responsible economic measures. The citizens Greece and other countries, possess a cargo cult mentality. The citizens are encouraged like spoilt children to accept no responsibility and blames the government for the nations ills. Of course, they indulge in Riots, (tantrums) etc, and blame those from whom they borrowed for their own profligacy ! This is unfortunately the inevitable consequence of all leftist economic policy ! However, in such countries, severe austerity measures will produce a dramatically negative effect ! As with drug addicts, asking a nation like Greece to go 'cold turkey' will only bring ruin and collapse. Europe, isn't Chile. Chile was fortunate to find Pinochet at it's darkest hour. But the day's of strongman dictators, however beneficial, have long gone. Such methods are no longer acceptable, and in an era of social media, probably ineffective. I am very glad that John Major kept the UK out of the Euro, and since the dawn of the Thatcher era, some of the welfare state cargo cult mentality of UK, is slowly dying. But not before most of British industry was destroyed.
          EZEE
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Reminds me of the end of Monty Python's 'the life of Brian' where the German suicide squad showed up to assist - and promptly killed themselves, leaving everyone on the cross.
        me
        • 3 Years Ago
        ur correct but dems are pure p---ies they have no backbone if they had one things would be better in many areas
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      just abolish the military. no sound culture has a standing army
        reconfreya
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Yes, I am sure the Muslims would instantly follow our lead, and start helping us build hospitals and schools, and rush aid the next time a tsunami or earthquake smashes their fellow non muslims brothers. Smack upside your head. FWAP!!
        Mark Schaffer
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Michael, michael, michael, and here I thought you were smart enough to know that predicting what the world would be like if different decisions had been made is a fool's errand.
        Mark Schaffer
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_of_Costa_Rica
        super390
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Dan, that's exactly what the Founding Fathers believed. Yet while the far-right relentlessly justifies going back 230 years to get rid of civil rights and social programs on the sacred grounds of "Original Intent", even calling blacks "14th Amendment citizens" to imply their right to vote is illegitimate, the only person there who speaks out against the standing army is Ron Paul, who has how many GOP delegates to show for it? How many Tea Party spokesmen have you seen call for a reduction in our $750,000,000,000 in yearly military commitments as an alternative to cutting Head Start, school lunch programs, or alternative energy programs? So either the Founding Fathers are fallible and we have the right to revise the damn Constitution to reflect our modern values, or they're infallible and we should dismantle the military down to a local force that can't protect our global corporate activities.
          Marco Polo
          • 7 Months Ago
          @super390
          @ super390 The " Founding Fathers" were not pacifists, but pretty aggressive expansionists who continually attacked their neighbours to acquire land and wealth ! The US constitution is not infallible, and has been amended many times to met changing circumstance. There was a time when the US was one of the very few nations that could practice isolationism, but those days are long gone. The question is not 'if ' the US should play an interventionist global role, but how most effectively it can be done. For the US, how to manage the changing balance of world trade and power, will become an increasingly difficult problem.
        Michael
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Dan Dan Dan, and here I thought you were only a nut about EVs. Sorry bud, while there have been many mistakes as the US military and it's civilian leaders have made over the years, without it, Europe would have been overrun countless times. Freedom ain't free. Only in Europe, where the US pays for it.
          super390
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Michael
          What does that have to do with the trillions we've spent since the Soviet Union collapsed? Listen to President Eisenhower's "Military-Industrial Complex" speech. He knew the longer it existed, the less it would have to do with real security. Under Ike, Congress was not allowed to decide on individual weapons programs, but had to vote the whole budget up or down.
          Dave
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Michael
          DF is a nutjob, but he isn't entirely wrong. If we had stayed out of WWI there probably wouldnt have been a WWII and there wouldnt have been a Soviet Union / cold war. All we did was support the British and Soviet empires over the German empire. Sometimes infections must be left to run their course.
          Marco Polo
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Michael
          @ Dave, Yes, DF is just a nut job. An ungrateful nut job ! He constantly reviles the American people and military, yet it was the sacrifice and of so many US lives that freed his native Denmark from the grip of the worst tyranny the world has ever known. It took the courage and determination of US service personal and the resolution of the US people to keep Denmark free of the aggressive and brutal Soviet Empire. Curiously, that's exactly what the soldier of a democracy fights for, the freedom for moaning little ingrates, to live in a society where little trolls can revile soldiers !
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Michael
          Marco, you need me on that wall, you want me on that wall. YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH. what would we have done without USA staging 9/11 and starting two wars based on lies. I'm so grateful to USA. and for killing 2 million vietnamese in another war based on lies. and gettig rid of that pesky well liked democratically elected leader of Chile, Salvador Allende and giving the Chilean people Augustus Pinochet who may have accidentally killed any political dissenters and tortured at random. not to mention killing the two Kennedy brothers. what would we do without USA whose colors don't run.. how ungrateful I am
      Peter
      • 3 Years Ago
      The arguments are all politics and bad ones at that. The cost of fuel (gasoline @ the oft quoted $400/gal) in the theatre of operations is not materially altered if its comes from bitumen, No 1 crude, ethanol, natural gas, or even hydrogen. Its the cost in dollars and lives that counts more than which hydrocarbon stock you use.
      Marco Polo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Spec, Since the biggest private investors in bio-fuel's are oil companies, your comment makes even less sense than normal.
    • Load More Comments