Asset Management, Bioenergy

Alternative Fuel Bill Heads to Governor’s Desk in Indiana

To study a variety of renewable energy resources, alternative fuel House Bill (HB) 1285 recently passed out of the Indiana House of Representatives by 86-0. It calls for the Environmental Quality Service Council (EQSC) to study the most effective way of implementing the Renewable Fuels Standards of the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 for the State of Indiana. Such a standard would require all gasoline sold in the state to contain ethanol, which is made from corn, and all diesel fuel sold to contain biodiesel, which is made from soybeans. The bill will now move to Governor Daniels’ desk for consideration.

“We should be examining ways to make our state one of the leaders of alternative fuels,” said Representative Jackie Walorski (R-Lakeville), who co-authored the bill. “Indiana has the resources necessary to sustain much of the country’s needs for ethanol and biofuels.” HB 1285 also would require the EQSC to explore the feasibility of requiring all motor vehicles sold in the state of Indiana to meet a Flexible Fuel Vehicle standard. This standard would require all gasoline-powered vehicles to burn E85 ethanol fuel, which is 85% ethanol, and B20 biodiesel, which is 20% soybean-based diesel fuel. “Our agribusiness has the ability to produce more corn and soybeans that are necessary to create these alternative fuels,” said Walorski. “By promoting the use of these types of fuels, we will be helping Indiana’s economy grow, which in the long run could bring in millions, if not billions, of dollars each year.” In addition, the EQSC would study the regulation of outdoor wood-burning furnaces and the use of methane gas from landfills and anaerobic digestion as a fuel source. The EQSC is comprised of 17 members representing the state legislature, business and industry, local government, environmental interests, semipublic permittees, agricultural interests, the general public, and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). This council is charged with studying issues assigned by the Environmental Affairs Committee, as well as making policy decisions that affect the use of IDEM’s resources and structural capabilities.