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ASP Board Member Castellaw: Let’s say no to farming out our national security; let’s say yes to farmers and businesses

ASP Board Member Castellaw: Let’s say no to farming out our national security; let’s say yes to farmers and businesses

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ASP Board Member Lieutenant General John Castellaw, USMC (Ret.) coauthored an article in The Commercial Appeal on the role that biofuels plays in both national security and supporting the economy. Gen. Castellaw argues that advanced biofuels displaces oil, and for the U.S. military, that means reducing costs and dependence on a fuel that has a history of price volatility. He also explains that the production of advanced biofuels comes from American farmers, and boosting this industry will support the American economy, instead of sending money overseas to unfriendly nations. From the article:

First, our military is currently dependent on a single source of fuel — petroleum. Military leaders cite this as a strategic vulnerability, especially when much of the single fuel source we rely on comes from the Middle East and other volatile regions that also are home to regimes hostile to the United States.

Second, advanced biofuel costs are rapidly declining. This can shield the Pentagon’s budget from long-term exposure to swings in the price of oil. The Department of Defense estimates a $1 increase in the price of a barrel of oil adds $130 million to fuel costs. In 2007, the price of a barrel of oil climbed more than $35, costing taxpayers billions.

And third, powering the defense and the transportation sectors with biofuel from American-grown crops expands our economy and can do so without competing with our food supply. According to a study by Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), military investments in biofuel alone could generate more than $10 billion in economic activity and create more than 14,000 jobs by 2020.

To read the full article, click here.

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