Tester, Baucus stand against provision to undermine energy security, jobs
(Washington, DC) - Montana's U.S. Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus are urging Congress not to use the National Defense Authorization Act to undermine military efforts to cut dependence on foreign oil. At the request of military commanders, Tester and Baucus have been pushing for years to expand the military's ability to purchase American-made fuels such as biofuel made from Montana-grown camelina. Tester and Baucus warn that provisions slipped into the Defense Authorization bill that limit the military's ability to purchase American-made fuel could harm national security, limit military readiness, and hamper Montana energy jobs.
"Smart investments in home-grown energy sources grow our economy and increase our energy independence," Tester said. "Our military's leadership in alternative energy will strengthen our national security and create jobs here at home."
"Powering our military with American-made energy makes our country safer and our economy stronger," Baucus said. "Tying our hands and forcing the American military to depend on foreign oil is short-sighted and dangerous. Instead, we need to give our commanders the flexibility to power our military with home-grown energy, like Montana camelina that supports jobs right here in America."
The military represents an important market for Montana-grown fuel, and limiting the military's ability to purchase alternative fuels, limits the ability for Montana energy to compete.
- The Pentagon's largest energy user, the Air Force, has established a goal of purchasing half of its domestically consumed aviation fuel from alternative sources by the end of 2016. As a result, it has contracted with Sustainable Oils - with a location in Bozeman, MT - for 100,000 gallons of camelina-based bio-fuels. The provision Tester and Baucus are fighting against would make it very difficult for the Air Force to continue contracting with companies like Sustainable Oils in the future.
- The Navy also has invested in the F-18 Green Hornet program which is powered by jet fuel made from Montana-grown camelina, and contracted with Sustainable Oils for 40,000 gallons of camelina-based jet fuel. The provision Tester and Baucus are fighting against would make it very difficult for the Navy to continue contracting with companies like Sustainable Oils in the future.
By contrast, in each of the last two congresses, Tester and Baucus introduced the "Freedom Fuels" bill to expand the military's ability to contract for American-made alternative fuels.