Hearing Held on Expanding Biofuels Role

Several pieces of legislation are pending that would help biofuels.

Published on: Sep 3, 2009
Senators Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and John Thune, R-S.D., held a hearing on "Expanding the Role of Biofuels for America" in Sioux City, Iowa this week. In his opening statement Senator Harkin was quick to point out that producing and using more biofuels are among our most important strategies for reducing our dependence on foreign oil. He said that Congress recognizes this.

Harkin noted the new farm bill has payments, grants, and loan guarantees to help farmers and biorefineries develop advanced biofuels, grow biomass crops, process them and market biofuels. It does so with grants and loan guarantees, payments for biomass crops, payments to farmers to begin to grow energy crops, and payments for feedstock harvesting and delivery to user facilities.

During the hearing, Harkin pointed to two pieces of legislation in the new Congress aimed at improving distribution and marketing for biofuels. The first authorizes loan guarantees for renewable biofuels pipelines to provide critical infrastructure for transporting these fuels from the
Midwest to population centers east and west. The second bill would require 90% of vehicles manufactured in the U.S. to be flex fuel by the year 2013. The bill also would require increasing numbers of blender pumps – pumps that can dispense ethanol blends ranging from 0% to 85% - and authorize grants to support their installation.