Sen. Dorgan Introduces Biofuels Legislation

U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) introduced two bills he said would help America end its “costly and dangerous dependence on foreign oil.” Dorgan is introducing an ethanol and biodiesel bill to help to create a large new market for America’s farmers, and a bill to launch a major new, long-term research and development effort for hydrogen fuel cell technology that could eventually power much of the nation’s automobile fleet.

Dorgan, a member of the Senate Energy Committee, said the bills will develop new alternative sources of energy here at home, putting an end OPEC’s grip on the nation’s economy and the pocketbooks of millions of consumers. “Americans pay what is essentially an OPEC tax every time gasoline prices go up at the pump,” Dorgan said. “Every day that America relies on the most volatile region in the world for the bulk of its energy supplies is a day America is less secure than it needs to be. We simply must get serious about developing new, alternative sources of energy here at home and this is what my legislation would do.” Under Dorgan’s ethanol bill, the nation’s gasoline and diesel supply would double its ethanol and biodiesel content in the next six years. That increased use of renewable fuels would give farmers a new marketplace for their products used to make these fuels, such as corn, and spur investment in plants, pipelines, and other facilities related to the fuels’ development and distribution. As far as hydrogen R&D goes, Dorgan has likened the 10-year, $7.9 billion hydrogen research program he is proposing to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Apollo program, which landed a man on the moon in less than 10 years. Dorgan’s hydrogen bill would help create a new generation of clean, advanced technology. “We have only just begun to explore the potential of hydrogen fuel cell technology. This bill would help jump-start the industry and lead us to a day when we can drive our cars without being hostage to the international oil cartel,” Dorgan said. “This bill will create the ‘Apollo Project’ our nation needs to make hydrogen technology a real part of our energy picture for future generations and realize true energy independence.”

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