Republican News

Republican News

           WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Pete Domenici, ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, late Thursday joined the Senate to approve legislation that will promote the use of clean biofuels and improve energy efficiency.
 
            On a 65-27 vote, the Senate approved HR.6, which includes Energy Committee-passed legislation on biofuels, energy efficiency, and carbon sequestration, along with provisions to increase the nation’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE).
 
            “While I believe that the bill we passed is lacking in a number of significant areas, I’m nevertheless pleased that we have taken a major step toward diversifying our fuel supply and developing  cleaner ways to power our cars and trucks.   The provisions in this bill to improve the efficiency of appliances will save energy and lower costs for consumers, while the carbon sequestration section will help us find ways to decrease our carbon emissions from all types of power sources,” Domenici said.
 
            “I voted for this bill because it strengthens one facet of what should be a comprehensive approach to energy.  I still believe that we need to do more to increase domestic production, which is something that I will continue to pursue.  I look forward to working on this bill in the Senate-House conference committee and producing a package that will help meet our energy needs,” he continued.
 
            The Senate-passed legislation establishes an escalating requirement to reduce America’s gasoline consumption, beginning with a 20 percent savings target in 10 years -- equivalent to more than 32 billion gallons per year -- and enough to reduce world oil prices by more than $2.50/barrel under current EIA assumptions.  The bill places a particular focus on the development of advanced biofuels by requiring an increasing portion of renewable fuels to be from unconventional biomass feedstocks beginning in 2016.
 
            The bill also promotes biofuels infrastructure development in more diverse regions of the country, so producers and consumers alike can benefit from new and better choices at the gas pump.  By increasing funding for bioenergy research and development by 50 percent, it invests in the critical science programs that can propel America to the forefront of global research on bioenergy resources.
 
            In addition, the bill contains new efficiency benchmarks for appliances,  which would bring consumers more than $12 billion in benefits, according to an American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy analysis. These standards would save more than 50 billion kilowatt-hours per year in electricity, or enough to power 4.8 million typical American households. It would also save 17 trillion BTUs of natural gas per year, and more than 560 million gallons of water per day.
 
            Among the other efficiency provisions of note are programs that $2.3 billion for research related to automotive batteries; authorize $60 million for DOE to research and develop light-weight materials for vehicle construction; authorize $15 million for advanced lighting technology, and reauthorize the Weatherization Assistance Program at $750 million.
           The bill authorizes research and development spending of up to $120 million on carbon sequestration, with the goal of furthering development of this key technology to reduce carbon emissions.
 
           On CAFE, the legislation raises the average fuel economy standard for cars and light trucks to 35 miles per gallon by model year 2020, an increase of 10 mpg over current standards.
 
 
 
 
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