GOP Wants The U.S. NAVY To Stop Buying Biofuels

When Ray Mabus, Secretary of the U.S. Navy, addressed the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources in early March, he lamented the expensive challenge of protecting the open seas on vehicles powered only by fossil fuels.

“Both the Navy and the Marine Corps must use energy more efficiently and we must lead in the development of alternative energy,” he stated [PDF] in that address, “otherwise, we put at risk our military readiness, we put at risk our national security, we put at risk the lives of our Sailors and Marines.”

Despite these eloquent and timely statements, House Republicans would prefer it if Mabus would keep such practical ideas to himself.

Last week, the Republican-controlled House Armed Services Committee voted to prohibit the Defense Department from buying any alternative fuels that cost more than fossil fuels (all of them) and to repeal part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 that has been the catalyst for efforts to wean the country off petroleum. If successful, experts say the amendment could be a fatal blow to the already struggling biofuels industry, which owes its survival thus far to large military purchases.

According to Wired, Committee Republicans, like Rep. Randy Forbes, insist this isn’t an attempt to kill off military biofuels before they have a chance to start. “Now, look, I love green energy,” he said in February. “It’s a matter of priorities.”

Apparently military readiness, national security, the lives of Sailors and Marines, and saving billions of taxpayer dollars aren’t top priorities.

Afraid for their futures, the Advanced Biofuels Association, Airlines for America, the Algal Biomass Organization, Biotechnology Industry Organization and the National Farm Bureau Federation recently 7 sent letters to leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees asking them to support the departments of Agriculture, Energy and the Navy in their efforts to transition to alternative fuels. Those three departments are scheduled to participate in a May 18 roundtable in Washington, D.C. to sort through some of these issues.

“It ought to move forward,” Phyllis Cuttino, director of the Pew Charitable Trusts clean energy program, said of the Navy’s Great Green Fleet initiative. “It’s not controversial. Or at least it shouldn’t be.”

Related Reading:

Navy Underwater Testing May Impact Sea Life  More Than Previously Thought

Are We STILL Knocking Algae?

Navy Stops Its Chaplains From Performing Same-Sex Marriages

Image via Thinkstock

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Beth M.
Past Member 2 years ago


CĂ©sar G.
CĂ©sar G.3 years ago

No surprise here. The GOP is against all forms of progress towards a sustainable world.

Richard B.
Richard B.3 years ago

Check out David Blume's book: "Alcohol can be a gas!".

Carole R.
Carole R.3 years ago


Terry Vanderbush
Terry V.3 years ago

They have there heads where the sun will never shine and not even a PROCTOLOGISTIC will be able to help them see the light

sheri denato
Past Member 3 years ago

we agree with Kate!

Dave C.
Dave C.3 years ago

forgot to say...I am not huge fan of biofuels, I am just disgusted with GOP behaviors and lies....prefer the military conserve by flying less....

Dave C.
Dave C.3 years ago

1. What happened to respecting the military leaders???

2. Mr. Forbes R-VA has a poor environmental record according to my reading --- see these two sites:,, LCV SCORE 14% --- near the bottom


Valentina R.
Valentina R.3 years ago


Kristian B.
Kristian B.3 years ago

I like many alternative fuels and want a better world for humans and animals, but this fuel is outright dangerous! The exhaust contains a lot of nanoparticles that make people who drive a lot sick, without knowing why. We must not risk people's healt over this! And at the same time people are starving, when we rather could grow crops on the biofuel patches. They might burn down rainforests for it too I've heard, since so many adore to be "green". Rather walk or bicycle more. Producing a car cost a whole lot too.. I don't care getting the license, doing fine.