On a 20-3 vote, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today approved a markup of bipartisan legislation that requires improved energy efficiency, promotes renewable fuels diversity and invests in research on carbon sequestration. The legislation is now ready for consideration by the full Senate.
The bill establishes an escalating requirement to reduce US gasoline consumption, beginning with a 20% savings target in 10 years. The bill places a particular focus on the development of advanced biofuels by requiring an increasing portion of renewable fuels to be from unconventional biomass feedstocks beginning in 2016.
Among the other transportation efficiency provisions of the bill are programs that provide $2.3 billion for research related to automotive batteries and authorize $60 million for DOE to research and develop light-weight materials for vehicle construction.
The bill also authorizes research and development spending of up to $120 million on carbon sequestration, with the goal of furthering development of this key technology to reduce carbon emissions.