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Senators Introduce Bill Requiring Greater Use of Biofuels

U.S. Senators Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) have introduced legislation that will significantly impact the auto industry by requiring automakers nation-wide to produce more "flex fuel" vehicles that can run on biofuels. The benchmark goal is to get 50 percent of the auto fleet using biofuels by 2012 and increase gradually to 80 percent by 2015.

The Dorgan-Lugar bill will complement legislation passed recently by the U.S. Senate that calls for refineries to produce and use 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels annually by 2022.

At the same time, the bill will establish targets for the installation of E-85 or blender pumps and other infrastructure. It will also require the federal government to use renewable fuels whenever possible in its vehicle fleet.

"We have the ability to produce much of our fuel right here at home,” said Senator Dorgan

Senator Lugar emphasized that it will take strong government leadership to help accelerate development and use of biofuels to complement today's corn-based ethanol production.

"Quick and wide-spread deployment of flex-fuel capable vehicles and E-85 ethanol blender pumps is a critical step in establishing the infrastructure necessary to enable markets for investors and give genuine fuel choice to American motorists,” said Lugar.

Cosponsors for the bill include Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Larry Craig (R-ID), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

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