BY KELLY MADSEN | IOWA ENERGY CENTER
After yesterday’s snow-postponed announcement, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced today the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Navy’s joint Farm-to-Fleet venture will now make biofuel blends part of regular, operational fuel purchase and use by the military.
The announcement marks the first time alternative fuels such as advanced drop-in biofuels will be available for purchase through regular procurement practices, lowering barriers for alternative domestic fuel suppliers to do business with the Department of Defense (DOD). The Navy will seek to purchase JP-5 and F-76 advanced drop-in biofuels blended from 10 to 50 percent with conventional fuels. The USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) will assist in the effort.
“A secure, domestically-produced energy source is very important to our national security,” said Navy Secretary Mabus during today’s announcement. “The Farm-to-Fleet initiative we are announcing today is important to advancing a commercial market for advanced biofuel, which will give us an alternative fuel source and help lessen our dependence on foreign oil.”
The Farm-to Fleet program blends homegrown biofuels with conventional fuels to power military ships and jets. Since its inauguration in 2010, the USDA and U.S. Navy partnership has investigated how to work together to speed the development of domestic, competitively-priced “drop-in” diesel and jet fuel substitutes.