Center for Advanced BioEnergy Research, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Friday, July 27, 2012

Green Machines

The Daily Scan - Genome Web
July 26, 2012

Nearly 400 retired US military officials signed a letter to Congress asking lawmakers to reconsider plans to prevent the US Navy from conducting research on biofuels or buying alternative fuels that cost more than traditional fuels, reports The Guardian. The proposal was put forth by Congressional Republicans who say that biofuels are too expensive and research into them takes focus away from security needs.

The Navy has shown that it can power jet fighters with a mixture of half conventional fuel and half algae or cooking oil. However, the alternative fuel costs $15 a gallon while the conventional fuel costs $3.60 a gallon.

The retired military officials say that reducing the Department of Defense's, as well as civilians', reliance on fossil fuels is vital to national security. "The Department of Defense should be looking at the widest possible diversity of fuel sources," says John Warner, a former navy secretary and former chair of the Senate armed services committee (R-Va.), to The Guardian. "We should continue to allow the department to move ahead with its innovation."

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