Sen. Carper on Bill to Promote Vehicle Fuel Alternatives

As Original Co-Sponsor, Sen. Carper Pushes Legislation That Increase Use of Biodiesel

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) joined other senior senators to introduce legislation that expands domestic energy production and reduces American reliance on foreign oil by producing more biodiesel fuels made from soybeans and other agricultural products.
"Biodiesel fuel is economical, clean, domestically produced, and it also reduces greenhouse gases while powering more fuel-efficient vehicles," said Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.). "With this legislation we can guarantee a greater demand for biodiesel, and provide an opportunity for our farmers to contribute to our energy security and increase their crops’ value.”
In joining in the introduction of the “Biodiesel Promotion and Quality Assurance Act of 2007,” Sen. Carper stressed that a strong biodiesel industry will enhance national security, provide environmental and health benefits, and promote economic development and job creation, particularly in rural America. Sen. Carper introduced the legislation with Democrat Majority Whip Richard Durbin, of Illinois, as well as Republican Sens. Charles Grassley, of Iowa, and Richard Lugar, of Indiana. They hope to attach this bill to the energy legislation currently on the floor of the U.S. Senate.  
Biodiesel is a diesel fuel replacement made from agricultural fats and oils. Soybeans are America’s primary oilseed crop, making up about half of the raw material used to make biodiesel, with the other half coming from vegetable oils and animal fats.
Modern, super-clean diesel engines available in cars and trucks today are 20 to 30 percent more fuel efficient than vehicles that run on gasoline. When these modern vehicles can be fueled with biodiesel, the energy-saving benefits are even greater.
The legislation sets a federally implemented biodiesel standard to promote reasonable, but aggressive growth, of biodiesel to extend the diesel fuel supplies in the United States. The legislation requires the federal government to regulate biodiesel refineries, blenders, distributors and importers and evaluate prices and supply issues.
The bipartisan bill defines what constitutes biodiesel fuel. It also requires that by 2012, 20 percent of diesel fuel sold in the United States be biodiesel fuel. The bill requires that after 2012 there will be a federal review of how greater use of renewable fuels impacts the environment, air quality, energy security, job creation and rural economic development, as well as the expected annual rate of future production of biodiesel fuels.
“The choice is clear: we can rely on other countries – many that not our friends – to provide us with oil, or we can begin to foster and grow new, domestic sources of fuel,” Sen. Carper said. “This legislation will ensure that biodiesel finds its way into the fuel supply of all 50 states.”
Marty Ross, president of the Mid-Atlantic Biodiesel facility in Clayton, Del., which was recently forced to idle, supports Sen. Carper’s effort to increase biodiesel production and use. "Past programs have been successful in stimulating production of biodiesel,” Ross said. “Now we need to take a second step and ensure use of this environmentally friendly and domestically produced alternative fuel. Passage of a Biodiesel Renewable Fuel Standard will go a long way toward this goal."