Legislators call on Congress to protect US ethanol

By Megan Skauge | January 03, 2009
Web exclusive posted Dec. 8, 2008 at 11:44 a.m. CST

State legislators and the Congress of Racial Equality are demanding action by the U.S. Congress for more American energy production. During a press conference Dec. 3, the group announced a soon-to-be introduced Americans for American Energy Act, which proposes financial and regulatory incentives to encourage production of American energy from all resources and technologies.

"We need and we will have a comprehensive approach, that will frame the issue, that will stage the debate, that will think new thought and will organize new approaches to solve the old problems of energy and environmental issues that we have," said U.S Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah. "That's the future and we will come up with new and innovative ideas to do it."

The bill would establish the American Energy Trust Fund (AETF), which specifically allocates funding for biofuels, hydroelectric power, solar and wind power, bioenergy, cellulosic biomass, methane hydrate, geothermal power, marine and hydrokinetic power, and carbon capture and sequestration research and development.

"We want to make sure that we protect the environment, but at the same time that we go after our resources and become dependent on what we have," said Tennessee Republican State Sen. Bill Ketron.

"I'd like to see us use all of our available resources," added Arizona Republican State Sen. Nancy McClean.

The bill would also permanently extend credits for non-business energy property, biomass, synthetic fuels and for energy efficient appliances.

Rep. Bishop is the incoming chair of the U.S. House Western Caucus and the original sponsor of the new Americans for American Energy Act, which will be introduced in January.