In a bipartisan vote, the Senate this week voted to strike language to the National Defense Authorization Act that would have prevented the military from buying biofuel if its cost is higher than conventional options.
Nicole Lederer, Environmental Entrepreneurs co-founder, said the vote was a victory for American businesses.
"From commercial aviation to the Internet, the military has historically led some of our nation's greatest economic transformations – and the military's leadership on biofuels is no different. Military programs are already driving innovation, private-sector investment and job creation in the biofuel industry. Now that the market has a clear signal from Washington, that growth can continue."
Farm groups also weighed in on the vote. National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson said the move was important for the agriculture community.
"The earlier proposed prohibitions that were in place in the NDAA would have been harmful to farmers, ranchers, the advanced biofuels industry and our national security. The DOD spends more than $11 billion each year on fossil fuels. Each time the price of a barrel of oil increases by $10, it costs DOD another $1.4 billion."
The Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Energy signed a memorandum of understanding in collaboration with the private sector to commercialize advanced biofuels in order to reduce the military's and the country's dependence on foreign oil in 2011.
E2 released a report earlier this month that found more than 14,000 jobs and $10 billion-plus in economic activity could be created if the military meets its previously announced biofuels goals. The Air Force and the Navy have expressed interest in obtaining 50% of their fuel from biofuels by 2020.
The Senate has not completed a vote on the full NDAA. After a vote, the bill must be reconciled with the House version.