CAMP LEJEUNE, NC – The military marks a watershed event in the their ongoing effort to increase their use of domestically produced renewable fuels.
The inaugural shipment of biodiesel is grown, processed, and blended exclusively in North Carolina for the military and arrived at Camp Lejeune yesterday morning. This delivery is the culmination of years of collaboration facilitated by North Carolina Eastern Region’s Military Growth Task Force (MGTF) through an initiative known as Fuel the Force.
This 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.
The military must meet aggressive federal mandates to reduce its energy consumption 30% by 2015, while increasing its use of renewable energy. Maj. Gen. Jensen detailed his energy needs at the MGTF’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.”
On the heels of this presentation, a team of interested and forward-thinking farmers, entrepreneurs, economic developers, elected officials, environmental groups, educators and interested citizens coalesced to demonstrate that Maj. Gen. Jensen’s vision could be realized locally.
The establishment of regional production capacity will reduce and eventually eliminate the need to import fuels from distant locations. Through Fuel the Force, North Carolina’s warriors and farmers have sown the seeds of a thriving North Carolina biofuels industry that is environmentally, logistically and fiscally sustainable.
Yesterday the Fuel the Force team assembled to celebrate this first significant step toward NC supplying all of its military’s biofuels needs.