Sen. Obama Proposes National Renewable Biodiesel Standard

Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) introduced legislation calling for a Renewable Diesel Standard that would require 2 billion gallons of diesel alternatives by the year 2015 to help lessen national dependence on foreign oil.

“We must continue down the path of reducing our reliance on foreign oil,” said Obama. “Like corn to ethanol for gasoline engines, we also can make soybeans, animal fats and coal into diesel. We have the technology, we have the interest, and we have the need. We just need the federal commitment.” Obama’s legislation is modeled after the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), a bipartisan initiative that passed this summer requiring that the national gasoline supply consist of at least 7.5 billion gallons of homegrown ethanol by the year 2012. The RFS also commits the country to the greater use of biodiesel in our fuel supply. “Creating a Renewable Diesel Standard will help alleviate diesel costs, create jobs, promote rural development, and help insulate our economy from oil shocks. And it will create new markets for Illinois soybeans and Illinois coal. We should pass this legislation immediately to take another concrete step towards energy independence,” said Obama. Today there is an estimated 180 million gallons of biodiesel production capacity in the United States. Fifty-four companies have reported their plans to construct dedicated biodiesel plants in the near future, but those plans are dependent upon regional and national demand prospects. A Renewable Diesel Standard would stabilize demand and encourage alternative domestic diesel production to help reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Petrodiesel is used in a wide variety of transportation modes: transit buses, semi trucks, ships, heavy duty construction, military vehicles, locomotives, barges, large scale generators, farm and mining equipment, and in many individual cars and trucks. Courtesy of
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