Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., introduced an aggressive plan to promote energy independence by increasing the use of renewable fuels.
The Energy Development for a Growing Economy bill would provide the president authority to increase the renewable content of motor fuel to 25% by 2025. It calls for 25% of vehicles sold in the United States to run on ethanol, biodiesel or alternative fuels by 2010, rising to 50% by 2020. The Clean EDGE Act sets a national goal of installing alternative fuels at 10% of American gas stations by 2015. To help achieve it, the legislation will provide additional tools to individual retailers, along with support to local governments that partner with private industry to establish alternative refueling corridors in different parts of the country.
The legislation also requires that 10% of electricity in the country come from renewable sources by 2020.
National Farmers Union says the bill's approach to energy policy will improve national security, while also helping rural communities' economies by promoting fuels from the farm.
"Farmers are ready to be part of the solution to our energy crisis and curb our addiction to foreign oil," NFU President Tom Buis says. "The EDGE bill is taking vital steps to strengthening our country's national security and allows producers to receive a fair price from the marketplace for their products."
NFU says encouraging the use of renewable fuels will increase domestic demand for surplus farm commodities, lower federal outlays of federal farm subsidies, improve the environment, and decrease American reliance on foreign oil.