Biofuel Initiatives Attacked as Gimmick

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Thursday July 12, 2012

U.S. petroleum representatives have made the allegation that the Department of Defense plan to increase the use of biofuels is nothing but a gimmick that will place the country's energy security at risk.

On July 9, 2012 Charles T. Drevna, president of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers stated, "This initiative is another Obama administration green fuel gimmick to make headlines. If the administration truly wants to enhance U.S. energy security, it would unleash more of our domestic oil and take steps to ensure a regulatory environment that allows American refiners to stay open and competitive in the global marketplace."

"At a time when tensions continue to rise in the Middle East, this moves our country down a potentially dangerous and unsecure path," he added.

Secretary of the U.S. Navy Ray Mabus insisted that even if domestic fuel was available, significant price shocks exist when global events transpire and that every time oil increased by $1.00 per barrel, it costs the Navy $31 million in additional fuel costs.

The Biotechnology Industry Organization released a statement responding to the petroleum refiners' criticism of the Navy's initiatives stating, "Achieving energy security is critical to national security and military readiness and the biofuel industry is attempting to do its part to help the U.S. military reach its goals."

Each year, American taxpayers spend approximately $80 billion to defend international oil shipping lanes while importing nearly two billion barrels of oil from the Persian Gulf every day.

During the first quarter of 2012, 241 million gallons of biodiesel was produced in the U.S., a 78% increase over the same period in 2011.

However, the fuel has a long way to go before it becomes a significant addition to the nation's energy needs as according to Energy Department statistics biodiesel still represents a miniscule share of the nation's immense consumption of liquid fuel.

92 million gallons of biodiesel was produced in March compared to 4.9 billion gallons of crude oil derived diesel and heating oil consumed that month, with gasoline consumption for the period at 11.2 billion gallons.