President Obama Announces Initiative to Spur Biofuels Industry

August 17, 2011

President Obama announced on August 16 that DOE, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. Navy will invest up to $510 million during to produce advanced drop-in aviation and marine biofuels that are completely interchangeable and compatible with conventional fuels. Over the next three years, in partnership with the private sector, the group will seek renewable sources to power military and commercial transportation. The initiative responds to a presidential directive as part of the administration's Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future, the framework for reducing dependence on foreign oil. The biofuels initiative is being steered by the White House Biofuels Interagency Work Group and the White House Rural Council.

Increased use of advanced biofuels is a key component of the administration's energy security agenda, but the United States lacks this manufacturing capability for next-generation drop-in biofuels in the United States. To accelerate the production of bio-based jet and diesel fuel, the departments developed a plan to jointly construct or retrofit several drop-in biofuel plants and refineries. This effort will help address energy security and national security challenges, and will provide economic opportunities.

The joint plan calls for DOE, USDA, and the Navy to invest a total of up to $510 million, with private industry providing at least a one-to-one match. The partnership aims to reduce U.S. reliance on foreign oil and create jobs while positioning American companies and farmers as global leaders in advanced biofuels production. See the White House press release and the departmental agreementPDF.