With the new Congress set to revisit the 2005 energy bill and reauthorize the 2002 farm bill, several key committees will meet today to discuss the future of energy in America. The House Science and Technology Subcommittee on Energy will focus on advanced fuels research, and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will discuss fuel efficiency in the transportation sector.
New research into alternative fuels and increasing vehicle fuel efficiency are both important components of a responsible, comprehensive, and secure energy future. The Center for American Progress’ plan for setting America on a path to this clean and renewable energy future includes:
- Developing a new generation of cars. We must use current technologies and invest in new technologies that will use alternative fuels and use gas more efficiently.
- Investing in biofuels. Establish a separate cellulosic biofuels component of the Renewable Fuel Standard of five billion gallons of cellulosic biofuels in the overall fuel supply by 2015 and provide consistent funding for production incentives.
- Getting biofuels to the pump. There are five million vehicles in America capable of running on cleaner, home-grown blends of ethanol and gasoline, but only 1,000 fueling stations that dispense this E85 fuel.
- Investing in Research: The federal budget must reflect major new investments in research, development, and deployment of new energy solutions to help reduce oil consumption and develop the next generation of alternatives.
- Stopping Unnecessary Corporate Subsidies: The government should revoke subsidy giveaways for profit-rich major oil companies and make sure they pay their fair share in royalties owed to American taxpayers for drilling on public lands and in federal waters.
Measures like these are already having a positive effect on Americans’ lives. Biofuels have already contributed directly and indirectly to the creation of 147,206 jobs and added $14 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product.
Today, America faces grave challenges in the field of energy—from the gathering storm of global warming to a dangerous addiction to oil that jeopardizes our national and economic security. We must meet these twin threats of climate change and oil dependence head-on, with that same spirit of hope and optimism that has characterized our finest hours.
We, as a nation, have the ingenuity, know-how, and determination necessary to create an energy-secure America. By working together, we can find exciting new ways to build America’s use of domestic, non-polluting renewable energy. By capturing the energy of the wind and the light of the sun, the power of a mighty river or heat stored in the crust of the Earth, we can find new untapped resources that create jobs, improve our security, and build the health of our people, our planet, and our economy.
Read the reports from the Center for American Progress:
- Energizing Rural America (PDF)
- American Energy (PDF)
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