Lejeune Prepares for ‘Green’ Biodiesel Fuel Delivery

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C., July 15, 2011 — Offi­cials here are prepar­ing for the sched­uled July 18 deliv­ery of the inau­gur­al ship­ment of biodiesel fuel that’s grown, processed and blend­ed exclu­sive­ly in North Car­oli­na for the mil­i­tary.
Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Carl B. Jensen, com­mand­ing gen­er­al of Marine Corps Instal­la­tions East, and State Sen. Har­ry Brown will be on hand to mark what offi­cials are call­ing a water­shed event in the military’s ongo­ing effort to increase its use of domes­ti­cal­ly pro­duced renew­able fuels.

The deliv­ery cul­mi­nates years of col­lab­o­ra­tion facil­i­tat­ed by North Car­oli­na East­ern Region’s Mil­i­tary Growth Task Force through an ini­tia­tive known as Fuel the Force, Camp Leje­une offi­cials said. “The project is a part­ner­ship between North Carolina’s two lead­ing indus­tries — the mil­i­tary and agri­cul­ture — and pro­motes devel­op­ment of the process­es and infra­struc­ture nec­es­sary for North Carolina’s farm­ers to pro­vide the renew­able fuels required by North Carolina’s war­riors,” offi­cials added in a state­ment announc­ing the deliv­ery. The mil­i­tary must meet aggres­sive fed­er­al man­dates to reduce its ener­gy con­sump­tion 30 per­cent by 2015, while increas­ing its use of renew­able ener­gy. Jensen detailed his ener­gy needs at the task force’s region­al bio­fu­els sym­po­sium last year.

“I believe strong­ly that we have got to break our depen­dence on petro­chem­i­cals,” he said. “It has got to start some­where, … and it might as well start with the mil­i­tary.”

Since then, a team of farm­ers, entre­pre­neurs, eco­nom­ic devel­op­ers, elect­ed offi­cials, envi­ron­men­tal groups, edu­ca­tors and inter­est­ed cit­i­zens worked togeth­er to make the vision a real­i­ty.

The estab­lish­ment of region­al pro­duc­tion capac­i­ty will reduce, and even­tu­al­ly elim­i­nate, the need to import fuels from dis­tant loca­tions, offi­cials said. Through Fuel the Force, North Carolina’s war­riors and farm­ers have sown the seeds of a North Car­oli­na bio­fu­els indus­try that is envi­ron­men­tal­ly, logis­ti­cal­ly and fis­cal­ly sus­tain­able, the announce­ment said.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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