Leave it to a politician to think that paying six times the market price for fuel is an idea whose "time has come." U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart, a Belleville Democrat, introduced a bill earlier this year that would direct the U.S. Air Force to provide grants to existing biofuel research centers. Oh, and by the way, that sort of research is being done near Enyart's home at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
Enyart said he was inspired by a Navy biofuels program to expand it to the Air Force. But the military's experience with biofuels is exactly why this is a bad idea. The Navy's Great Green Fleet program resulted in $26 a gallon fuel when regular fuel was selling for less than $4 a gallon. The Air Force spent $59 a gallon for 11,000 gallons of biofuel for jets.
Alternative energy always sounds good, but it has to make economic sense -- and biofuel simply doesn't. Congress should just say no to Enyart's pet project.