Council Makes Recommendations Lowering U.S. Oil Dependence

Biofuel plays key role in energy security strategy.

Published on: Dec 15, 2006

The Energy Security Leadership Council, made up of a group of powerful men ranging from CEOs to retired military commanders, is recommending a U.S. energy policy that weans Americans off of oil in the coming years. The group's report, released this month, makes boosting both the supply and demand sides of biofuels a crucial part of this strategy.

The Council sees decreasing U.S. dependence on oil - all of it, not just foreign oil - as a critical security measure.

"In an age of global terrorism, the country's reliance on an uninterrupted supply of petroleum creates real dangers," the group's Web site warns.

In the group's December report, titled "Recommendations to the Nation on Reducing U.S. Oil Dependence," the second of its four primary recommendations is to "provide alternatives." The group suggests aiding both the demand side - for instance, requiring a 10% increase in production of Flexible Fuel Vehicles that would be able to utilize fuel with ethanol content - and the supply side, such as providing tax credits for installation of ethanol fuel pumps and creating a competitive federal assistance system for biorefineries.

Other recommendations include "smart subsidies" to protect the biofuels industry from dips in oil prices and increasing federal assistance for cellulosic ethanol and "other promising large-volume biofuels."

The report projects ethanol output at 30 billion gallons per year if its recommendations are followed.