Pipeline legislation clarified, reintroduced

By Luke Geiver | March 16, 2010
Posted March 30, 2010

The Renewable Fuel Pipeline Act was reintroduced by Congressman Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa), and Lee Terry (R-Neb.). The legislation, H.R. 4674, amends the loan guarantee program of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 for infrastructure. The 2010 version qualifies a renewable fuel pipeline as an eligible project to receive an 80 percent federal loan guarantee. According to Monte Shaw, executive director for the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, H.R. 4674 uses the same terms seen in oil and gas loan guarantee legislation. Now, Shaw said with reintroduction of the legislation, renewable fuels under the clarified bill, would be granted the same 80 percent federal guarantee, and projects like the Poet LLC and Magellan Midstream Partners L.C. proposed pipeline stretching from South Dakota to New Jersey, have a chance for completion.

Although there is currently no proposed pipeline running through either Boswell's or Terry's districts, both commented on the importance of the bill. "The Renewable Fuel Pipeline Act is an important piece of legislation to Iowa's local communities and economies that have come to rely on the biofuels industry, as well as a critical step toward weaning this country off its dependence on foreign oil and OPEC," Boswell said. "The construction of a pipeline to move ethanol out of the Midwest and to the coasts will create nearly 80,000 jobs while contributing $6.6 billion to the U.S. economy."

"Nebraska and other Midwest states rely heavily on the ethanol industry," Terry said. "This legislation is critical to reducing our reliance on foreign oil by expanding the use of biofuels like ethanol. This is good bipartisan legislation that will expand the use of ethanol nationwide and create much-needed jobs in our country."

Because the bill specifically clarifies for the U.S. DOE that renewable fuels do qualify for a loan, Shaw and the cosponsors of the bill are hopeful an energy bill will be passed including H.R. 4674. "They (Boswell, and Terry), have taken the point on this, and they are doing it because the legislation will help the country."