5:23 PM EDT
Randy Weber, R-TX 14th

Mr. WEBER of Texas. I thank the gentleman from Texas for yielding to me.

Mr. Chair, I rise today in opposition to the gentlewoman's amendment and in support of the underlying reforms included in H.R. 1806, the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015.

This amendment would remove a limitation included in the underlying bill that prevents the Department of Energy from using funding authorized for the EERE Biofuels program to conduct commercial production of biofuels for defense purposes.

The fact is that EERE already spends too much of their current budget on deployment and commercialization of renewable and energy efficient technologies instead of research and development.

The DOE's ongoing effort to fund commercial-scale biofuels production for military purposes in cooperation with the Department of Defense and USDA is just one example.

Redirecting funds from biofuels R&D is part of a broader problem. Department of Energy research and development programs should be focused on science, not creating a market for certain types of fuels. The DOE should focus on a new idea for the market, not a market for the new idea.

The Department of Defense spends billions annually on fuel costs, billions. When viable biofuels technology is able to compete with conventional fuels--trust me--the private sector can and will develop commercial-scale biofuels production to meet demand. It is just that simple, Mr. Chairman.

And despite significant Federal programs to support the use of biofuels, a recent GAO, Government Accountability Office, study concluded that the long-term viability of alternative fuels is dependent on market factors, not Federal funds or mandates. That same study reported that the Department of Defense paid $150 per gallon for 1,500 gallons of alternative jet fuel derived from algal oil. Taxpayers should be outraged.

The other side may be, in fact, promoting their global warming theory because when taxpayers find out about this kind of waste, there are going to be a lot of them hot under the collar.

The Department of Energy should focus on research and development, not commercial biofuels production. This limitation is consistent with the broader goals of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act, which prioritizes research and development in all R&D program areas while cutting spending on deployment and commercialization.

I am aghast, Mr. Chairman, that the other side somehow thinks Congress shouldn't be paying attention to the way taxpayer dollars are spent.

For these reasons, I encourage my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this amendment.