Two key bills regarding renewable fuels were introduced in the Senate on the first day of session:

  • The Bio Fuels Security Act by Sens. Tom Harkin (D-IA), Dick Lugar (R-IN) Barack Obama (D-IL), Joe Biden (D-DE), and Byron Dorgan (D-ND). This legislation would increase the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) to 60 billion gals. of ethanol and biodiesel by 2030. The current RFS is 7.5 billion gals. by 2012. The bill would require large oil companies to install E85 pumps at their stations resulting in about 50% of all major brand gasoline stations nationwide having E85 pumps available within a decade.

  • The American Fuels Act by Sens. Barack Obama (D-IL), Dick Lugar (R-IN), and Tom Harkin (D-IA) would increase the production of cellulosic biomass ethanol to 250 million gals. by 2012; require 2 billion gals. of alternative diesels to be mixed into the 40-billion-gal. annual national diesel pool by 2015; provide automakers with tax incentives to produce additional Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFVs); and a short term 35¢/gal. tax credit for E-85 fuel.
-- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C., correspondent