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Issue: 779   Date: 07/28/2005
(WASHINGTON, 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 gallons.

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 in 2012.

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.?

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