Senate rejects amendment gutting military biofuels program by 40-59 vote

Some conservatives have argued the biofuels are too expensive when the military is staring down $500 billion of cuts slated for the next decade. They also object to using the military to kick-start biofuel technology.

But the program's supporters say the military has long invested in technology, and argue biofuels save the military money in the long term. They contend the fuel insulates the armed forces from oil price shocks that eat at the operations and management budget.

Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), a proponent of the program, praised the Senate's actions.

"Our military is on the cutting edge technologically, but much of our fighting capability relies on foreign fossil fuels and decades-old power systems. That dependence has very real human and economic costs," he said in a Wednesday statement.