House passes energy bill with expanded renewable fuel standard

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Late last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a comprehensive energy bill with a Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) designed to strengthen and expand the growing market for ethanol and biodiesel.

The Energy Independence and Security Act passed by a vote of 231-181in the U.S. House of Representatives.

"A strong renewable fuel standard will ensure the continued growth and development of the renewable fuels industry," Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson says. "This forward-looking bill will build on the success of our current ethanol and biodiesel industries and will encourage continued innovation and development of the feedstocks of the future."

The RFS provision establishes a minimum content of renewable fuel that refiners must use each year through 2022. It also includes a separate mandate for biodiesel and encourages the use of cellulosic sources for biofuels.

The energy bill will increase the volume of renewable fuels used each year, beginning with 9 billion gallons in 2008 and increasing to 36 billion gallons per year in 2022.

The bill now heads to the Senate. However, according to the Western United Dairymen’s Weekly Update, because the measure includes a renewable portfolio standard for utilities and ends some tax breaks for large oil companies, President Bush has promised to veto the bill.

For more information, go to the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture Web site at:    

Source: U.S. House Committee on Agriculture

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