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Key Vote: Bonamici COMPETES Amendment
Vote h255-2015

This week, the House will consider the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015. This bill is intended to provide basic research funds in various scientific areas. One important clause prohibits the DOE from working with DOD to further subsidize biofuel production through military applications. One amendment, proposed by Rep. Bonamici, would eliminate this specific provision.

The Department of Energy and Defense have spent a large amount of money subsidizing exotic and incredibly expensive biofuels by purchasing the biofuels for use by the military. The COMPETES Reauthorization Act stops DOE from bring involved in this wasteful practice, but the amendment allows this waste to continue.

This is not the case of the DoD purchasing regular corn ethanol to test. This is the case of DoD buying exotic and expensive biofuels. From 2009-2013, DoD made a number of biofuel purchases that resulted in colossal waste. According to a report done by the Institute for Energy Research:

Since 2009, the DLA [Defense Logistics Agency] has made at least 19 biofuels purchases totaling more than $65 million… [O]n average, biofuels have cost taxpayers between $30 and $60 per gallon, compared to about $3.24 per gallon for conventional fuels on a bulk contract.

Consider the case of Gevo:

\"[These] biofuels purchases have mostly been limited to a few companies. The largest include Sustainable Oils, Solazyme, UOP (Cargill), and Gevo… Gevo has secured at least three biofuels agreements with DoD totaling more than $3.5 million, the most recent of which was announced by Gevo in its latest quarterly report. For each deal, DoD agreed to pay exactly $59 per gallon, significantly above market value.\"

DoD is spending far too much on expensive biofuels. This waste is compounded given the abundance and cost-effectiveness of domestic oil and natural gas. Utilizing oil and natural gas saves the taxpayer money and ensures that our armed forces are adequately equipped at all times.

The American Energy Alliance urges members to vote NO on the Bonamici amendment and will include it in our American Energy Scorecard should it receive a vote. NO is the PRO-TAXPAYER and PRO-MILITARY VOTE.

AEA Position: No

Vote result on 2015-05-20


(208 to 215)

  • Voted Yes
  • Voted No
  • Did Not Vote