U.S. launches biofuels initiative

Aug. 17, 2011 at 7:43 AM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- National and energy security depend on access to commercially available biofuels, Washington said in unveiling a $510 million private-sector initiative.

The U.S. departments of Energy, Agriculture and Navy announced plans to invest up to $510 million during the next three years in partnerships with the private sector. This plan would help advance the use of biofuels to power military and commercial transportation, the departments said.

U.S. President Barack Obama said advancing biofuels would contribute to U.S. energy security plans. The United States lacks the manufacturing capabilities to take full advantage of the alternative fuel, however.

"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," said Navy Secretary Ray Mabus.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the plan would help develop new industries in rural America to produce renewable fuels, thereby reducing the dependence on foreign oil. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said better availability of biofuels would reduce transportation costs.

The plan calls for each department to get matching donors in the private sector.

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