ETHANOL ACROSS AMERICA APPLAUDS INTRODUCTION OF NEW RFS LEGISLATION

Washington, DC, March 17, 2005: Members of the Advisory Board of the Ethanol Across America education campaign were among the key members of the U.S. Senate to introduce legislation today that would double the demand for ethanol and biodiesel over the next seven years.

The Fuels Security Act of 2005 (S.650) was introduced by U.S. Senators Richard Lugar (R-IN) with fellow Ethanol Across America Advisory Board members Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Tim Johnson (D-SD) joining as original co-sponsors. The bill would establish a phased in annual requirement for renewable fuels like ethanol and biodiesel beginning in 2006 and reaching 8 billion gallons in 2012. More than 20 Senators signed on as original cosponsors of the legislation.

"The biggest threat to our security is our reliance on fossil fuels and foreign oil," said Co-Chairman Senator Nelson. "The Fuels Security Act will boost the domestic production of renewable fuels, drive down gas prices, create agriculture sector jobs, and protect our economic security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil."

Senator Lugar, who recently joined the Ethanol Across America board, was the author of the first renewable fuels standard (RFS) legislation in 2000, and has championed the cause of domestic renewable fuels for more than 30 years.

"This legislation would play a vital role in increasing America’s security because renewable fuels are a key component to energy independence for our country," Lugar said. "Ethanol and biodiesel are premier, high performance fuels that have tremendous environmental benefits. This increase in production would significantly improve rural economies not only in my home state of Indiana, but also in all 50 states and around the world. In addition, it will spur investment in valuable infrastructure which is critical to the viability to a national renewable fuels system."

Senator Tim Johnson, a member of the Senate Energy Committee, also noted the positive impact of the bill. "Increased ethanol use helps reduce our dependence on foreign energy and benefits our ag economy," said Johnson. "Increasing the RFS schedule to 8 billion gallons in 2012 ensures market stability and encourages investment in ethanol plants and transportation infrastructure. This bill enjoys the greatest number of Senators ever to join in introducing an RFS."

The legislation would create a flexible credit and trading program allowing refiners to meet the renewable requirement directly or working with others who will be marketing this fuel. It would eliminate the requirement for oxygenates like ethanol to be in federal reformulated gasoline, which is something the petroleum industry has requested. It does not prohibit the use of oxygenates, and many experts expect ethanol to continue to be used widely in reformulated gasoline across the country. The legislation would also incentivize further development of non-grain feedstocks such as urban wastes and a range of cellulosic biomass products by increasing their value in the credit trading program.

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Ethanol Across America is a non-profit, non-partisan education campaign of the Clean Fuels Foundation and is sponsored by industry, government, and private interests. U.S. Senators Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Conrad Burns (R-MT), Co-Chairmen. For more information, log on to www.ethanolacrossamerica.net.

 

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