Hillary Clinton touted selling advanced biofuels to the Department of Defense as a way to boost the economy during a speech at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, on Wednesday.
In her remarks, the Democratic presidential candidate called the department "a huge potential customer" for biofuels.
"Just think of what it would mean for rural America and Iowa in particular, if we could build demand, number one, and then build the processing in order to provide advanced biofuels for aviation, both civil and military," Clinton said. "That would be a game changer and it would be an incredible economic boost for rural America," she said.
A recent report from the Government Accountability Office found that the Defense Department paid an average of $29 per gallon for "alternative fuel," which cost taxpayers a total of $58.6 million. These fuels are nearly nine times the cost of petroleum fuel options.
Another report, from the Congressional Research Service, detailed how the Defense Department purchased alternative fuel made of algae for $149 per gallon from Solazyme, a San Francisco-based company that has donated between $100,000 and $250,000 to the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.
The Defense Department has stated that one of its strategic energy goals is to expand its options by investing in alternative liquid fuels, which are derived from non-petroleum feedstocks.
For example, the Navy has a goal of deriving 50 percent of total energy consumption from alternative sources by 2020. They also plan to deploy a "Great Green Fleet" by 2016, which will include ships and aircraft that run on alternative fuels.
According to the Government Accountability Office, the department views investment in alternative fuels as a "prudent insurance policy against future oil supply disruptions and high prices."
The Defense Department paid $107.2 billion for 32 billion gallons of petroleum fuel from 2007 to 2014, a cost of $3.35 per gallon.