Senate bill introduced to spur biofuels growth

By Holly Jessen | July 15, 2010
Posted July 15, 2010

Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Tim Johnson, D-S.D., introduced new legislation on July 14 with the goal of bolstering the energy sector. Among other things, the Securing America's Future with Energy and Sustainable Technologies Act, calls for a long-term extension of tax credits for ethanol and biodiesel, incentives for infrastructure and targets for advanced vehicle technologies.

Besides support for biofuels, the proposed legislation calls for growth in the area of renewable electricity, with a goal of 25 percent renewable energy by 2025. In addition, if passed, it would establish a 1 percent per year energy efficiency resource standard.

"This bill will boost the economy by replacing imported oil with homegrown biofuels and renewable energy," Johnson said. "Jobs will be created across the entire economy to produce parts and components for wind farms and by manufacturing vehicles that can run on higher blends of renewable fuels. It's a win for energy security and economic security."

The bill has been endorsed by Growth Energy, the American Wind Energy Association, the Renewable Fuels Association, Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and the National Association of Corn Growers. "We support Sen. Klobuchar's efforts to expand America's reliance on domestic renewable energies," Matt Hartwig, RFA's director of public affairs told EPM. "While there are some specific details that still need to be addressed, we look forward to working with her and her Senate colleagues to ensure any energy legislation continues to encourage the evolution of America's ethanol industry."

Meanwhile, one day after the bill was introduced, Growth Energy announced its Fueling Freedom Plan, asking policy makers for a long term extension of tax incentives, but with the hope that some of those funds be shifted to infrastructure needs. The plan also calls for as many as 120 million flex-fuel vehicles.

Growth Energy does support the bill, which includes many of the same proposals the organization has called for in its Fueling Freedom Plan, said Stephanie Dreyer, Growth Energy public affairs associate. The group is working with Klobuchar and other senators to incorporate the proposals in the bill with what Growth Energy laid out on July 15.