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White House announces biofuels initiative

Aug. 16, 2011 at 2:44 PM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- President Obama Tuesday announced an initiative to spur the biofuels industry and boost U.S. energy security.

The Agriculture and Energy departments and the U.S. Navy are partnering to increase biofuels use for military and commercial transportation, the White House said in a release.

The three government entities will invest $510 million in the next three years in partnership with the private sector "to produce advanced drop-in aviation and marine biofuels to power military and commercial transportation," the statement said.

"Biofuels are an important part of reducing America's dependence on foreign oil and creating jobs here at home," Obama said. "But supporting biofuels cannot be the role of government alone. That's why we're partnering with the private sector to speed development of next-generation biofuels that will help us continue to take steps towards energy independence and strengthen communities across our country."

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus have developed a plan to accelerate production of bio-based jet and diesel fuel that will jointly construct or retrofit several drop-in biofuel plants and refineries.

"America's long-term national security depends upon a commercially viable domestic biofuels market that will benefit taxpayers while simultaneously giving Sailors and Marines tactical and strategic advantages," Mabus said. "Today's announcement not only leverages our home grown fuel sources to support our national security, but it also helps advance the biofuels market, which ultimately brings down the cost of biofuels for everyone."

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