Congress is considering some proposals that would fund studies to figure out if pipelines that would carry ethanol and biodiesel are viable options. Wallaces Farmer reports Democrat Iowa Congressman Leonard Boswell, and Republican Cong. Jerry Moran of Kansas have introduced the bill:
The Ethanol Infrastructure Expansion Act, H.R. 2426, would direct the U.S. Secretary of Energy to fund studies on the feasibility of constructing a dedicated ethanol pipeline and to study the technical factors that prevent the transportation of ethanol in existing pipelines.
“As the ethanol and biodiesel industries continue to expand, we need to examine practical and economical ways to transport ethanol across the country,” says Boswell. “This bill is a necessary first step in bringing ethanol to the rest of the country. We need to break our bondage to OPEC and if we are going to produce more biofuel to do that, we need to get that ethanol and biodiesel to the motoring public as efficiently as possible.”
This is an important bill for Congress to consider. “Ethanol and biodiesel are currently moved primarily by railcars and by truck. But the rapid growth in production of ethanol and also biodiesel production makes a study and determination of additional transportation options critical,” he says.
If the bill is passed, the Department of Energy would also have to study if existing pipelines could be modified to carry the biofuels. The measure is similar to a bill introduced earlier this year by Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) (see Cindy’s March 13th post).