Navy biofuels spending might be preserved in a $604.5 billion defense appropriations bill scheduled for a Thursday markup, according to a Reuters report.
The Senate Committee on Appropriations Defense subcommittee on Tuesday approved alternative fuel spending that includes money for a hotly contested Navy biofuels program. The full Senate Appropriations Committee will now determine whether that alternative fuel proposal survives at the Thursday markup.
Senate Appropriations Defense subcommittee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) told Reuters, “I think we do have funding” for the Navy biofuels program, though he would not reveal the specific dollar amount requested in the bill passed Tuesday.
The Armed Services Committee already has effectively blocked the Navy biofuels program on the grounds of cost.
Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) in May added an amendment to the defense authorization bill in the Senate Armed Services Committee that prevents the Navy from buying biofuels if they cost more than conventional fuel. He was incensed by the Navy decision to buy 450,000 gallons of $26-per-gallon biofuel, which it blended with petroleum for its “Great Green Fleet” aircraft carrier strike demonstration in July.
—This post was updated at 4:20 p.m. to reflect that it is the Senate Appropriations Committee marking up defense legislation.