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Biofuel foolishness: Hamstrung Navy

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Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
 

As China ramps up its naval aggression, evidenced by the recent near collision of Chinese and U.S. warships in the South China Sea, the U.S. cannot afford to divert precious resources to the political pipe dream of a biofueled Navy.

Yet Navy Secretary Ray Mabus is undeterred in his support of a “farm-to-fleet” initiative with the Department of Agriculture, premised on the goal of replacing naval diesel fuel with biofuels — which are about seven times more expensive, according to a Heritage Foundation analysis.

Reality check: China for weeks has been threatening U.S. allies and laying claim to resources and commerce in the East and South China seas. In response to the aforementioned close encounter with an American guided missile cruiser, China's Xinhua news agency says the USS Cowpens “broke into the Chinese navy's drilling waters” and “triggered the confrontation.” But it was the Chinese ship that cut off the American cruiser in open waters, according to a senior U.S. Defense official.

Despite this and other world trouble spots, the Obama administration is pursuing a purely political goal that's of absolutely no benefit to America's defense. Writes Capt. Ike Kiefer, a naval aviator who teaches strategy at the U.S. Air Force Air War College, “Biofuel prices have proven (to be) as volatile as oil prices and are likely to be more so once subsidies end.”

National security — shipbuilding and maintenance — trumps political pander. The Navy needs to deep-six this biofuel foolishness.

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