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article imageOp-Ed: Navy biofuel purchase bypasses Congress to an executive order

By Nancy Houser     Dec 6, 2011 in Entertainment
A significant step for the U.S. Navy has been the recent purchase of 450,000 gallons of biofuels at $15 per gallon---four times the normal price. The goal is to eventually transform the "Great Green Fleet" into one that relies on alternative energy.
The plan is for "supersonic F/A-18 jets to launch from the deck of an aircraft carrier, powered by fuels fermented from algae," according to a Wired news report. The biofuel purchase is the largest of its kind in United States history, but Navy Secretary Ray Mabus considers it a significant step for the United States.
The $12 million purchase by the Navy is planned for this coming summer in Hawaii. In addition to the jets launching from the aircraft carrier, a 9,000-ton destroyer and a cruiser will be included on a Pacific voyage. This will be a landmark for the U.S. military as they will be the first to use a fuel made from fats and greases, while the carrier runs on nuclear power.
According to Fox News, the gigantic Navy biofuel purchase has been "authorized by an executive order under the Obama administration's 'we can't wait' campaign." There have been no indications why the purchase is not going through Congress. Instead, it was decided to use a program intentionally established for job promotion, bypassing another self-defeating congressional debate that seems to never go anywhere.
Obviously, while Congress has been complaining that President Obama has been sitting around doing nothing.
With or without the approval of Congress, Obama has not only been building jobs for American citizens to build biofuel but also for the United States to become independent from high-priced overseas oil companies. They should have more "do nothing" jobs like that.
"It will support development of a new, rural-focused industry that will replace imported crude oil with secure, renewable fuels made here in the U.S," Energy Secretary Steven Chu said.(Reuters)
Two major United States companies are involved in the process. Dynamic Fuels in Louisiana and Syntroleum Corporation will be making biofuel from used cooking oil; Solazyme in California will be making fuel from algae. Both President Obama and Vice-President Jo Biden visited a biofuel plant in Manoca, PA. Biden laughingly says that the plant's chicken fat and chicken manure comes from his own state, with the biofuel process being made in Pennsylvania, which develops jobs in two different states for one product for lots of people.
According to Reuters, last August President Obama had announced a $510 million initiative in order to boost the production of the next U.S. generation biofuels. The Navy, Energy and Agricultural departments sponsored a plan where companies could bid on new biofuel projects with the government matching the investment.
"The President understands that for us to be more competitive economically and for us to be more secure, we need a diversification in our energy choices rather than continuing to blindly support oil producing monopolies," Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said.
According to President Obama, by 2025 the goal of reducing oil imports to one-third will be due to biofuels.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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