D.C.) In a series of tough negotiations this weekend U.S. Senator
Jim Talent (R-Mo.) secured a 7.5 billion gallon Renewable Fuels
Standard (RFS) as part of the comprehensive Energy bill.
Working with Senate Energy Committee Chairman Pete Domenici (R-N.M.),
Sen. Talent helped negotiate the new standard which would add
billions of gallons of ethanol, biodiesel and other renewables
to the nation’s fuel supply by 2012.
“For all of us who have worked so hard for a robust Renewable
Fuels Standard, we are coming to the end of a long road,?said
Sen. Talent, co-chair of the Senate Biofuels Caucus. “I’ve said
renewable fuels are at the crux of economic growth and jobs; at
the crux of energy security; at the crux of consumer benefits;
at the crux of environmental quality; and at the crux of value-added
agriculture for our producers.?Sen. Talent said the victory is
especially significant given the difference between the Senate
and House-passed Energy bills. In May, Senators Talent and Tim
Johnson (D-S.D.), both members of the Senate Energy Committee,
added an 8 billion gallon RFS in committee and the proposal was
approved by the Senate. The House passed a smaller RFS at 5 billion
The new RFS is 50 percent bigger than the one passed by the House.
It creates a phase-in for renewable fuels over 7 years, beginning
with 4 billion gallons by 2006 and ending at 7.5 billion gallons
Members of the Senate-House Energy conference committee are currently
working out the final details of the Energy bill and the Congress
could vote on it as early as this week. If approved, the Energy
package would then go to the President for his signature.
“The Renewable Fuels Standard alone is a reason to pass the comprehensive
Energy bill,?said Sen. Talent. “I am hopeful we can pass this bill
quickly and get it to the President’s desk.?