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Update on the US Senate Energy Bill, Part 3; 44 Billion Gallon RFS, $10.2 Billion for Lower GHG Coal Projects

The conventional and advanced biofuels portions of the original language and the new Coleman amendment. Click to enlarge.

Although the volume of new amendments introduced to the energy bill under discussion on the Senate floor decreased on Friday, there were several major proposals.

An amendment (SA 1612) by Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) proposed an expansion of the renewable fuels standard (RFS) to 44 billion gallons by 2022, with 30 billion of that coming from advanced biofuels—e.g., cellulosic ethanol. The current language in the bill proposes a 36 billion gallon RFS by 2022, with 21 billion of that coming from renewable fuels. Coleman is thus proposing a 43% bump in the production of advanced biofuels over the same timeframe.

The Senator also proposed an amendment requiring a study and report on using higher ethanol blends (such as E15 or E20) nationally. Adoption of an E20 standard would move the US closer to the Brazilian “gasohol” model.

Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) sponsored an amendment (SA 1614) that would establish a $200-million grant and $10 billion loan program for coal projects that deliver annual lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of at least 20% below conventional baseline emissions and that capture and store at least 75% of the CO2 that otherwise would have been released to the atmosphere.

Senator Tester also put forward an amendment (SA 1617) that would require establishing a regulatory plan for the long-term sequestration of carbon dioxide.

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) proposed (SA 1615) establishing an office of scientific research within NOAA to study abrupt climate change. Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) proposed a series of tax breaks for oil and gas exploration, production and refining (SA 1618-1622).

The Senate approved by voice vote SA 1524—a “Sense of the Senate” approving of the “20 by 25” goal (20% of US energy from renewable sources by 2025).

A table of the current status of amendments follows. Amendments with numbers in bold have been accepted; amendments with number stricken through have been rejected, tabled or withdrawn.

Proposed Amendments to Senate Energy Bill (amended H.R.6)
12 June 2007
Amendment Sponsor(s) Title and/or notes
SA 1505 Inhofe and Thune Gas Price Act
  • Streamlines permitting process for “domestic fuels facilities” including refineries and alt fuel plants;
  • Establishes a R&D and evaluation program for Fischer-Tropsch diesel and jet fuel “as a mechanism for reducing engine exhaust emissions”
  • Provide financial assistance to commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol or CTL facilities on BRAC or Indian lands, with a Federal contribution of 80-100%
  • Updating the hydrocarbon reserves classification system.

  • Defeated 13 June by Yea-Nay vote of 52 to 43. Record Vote Number: 210
    SA 1506 Stevens and Landrieu Energy Efficient Lightbulbs
  • Establishes minimum lumens per watt standards for lightbulbs of not less than 30 by calendar year 2013 and not less than 45 by calendar year 2018.
  • Authorizes a 6-year, $60-million lighting technology research and development program.
  • SA 1508 Bayh, Brownback, Lieberman, Coleman, Salazar, Lincoln, Cantwell, Kerry, Dodd,  Kohl, Reed, Collins, Nelson Oil Savings Plan and Requirements. Directs the appropriate agencies of the Federal government to develop a plan to reduce oil consumption by:
  • 2,500,000 barrels of oil per day on average during calendar year 2016
  • 7,000,000 barrels of oil per day on average during calendar year 2026;
  • 10,000,000 barrels per day on average during calendar year 2031

  • SA 1508 agreed to in Senate by Yea-Nay Vote. 63 - 30. Record Vote Number: 209.
    SA 1509
    SA 1552
    Craig Geologic Mapping Reauthorization. Provides $640 million over 10 years (fiscal years 2007 through 2016) for updating and expanding geologic mapping of the US.
    SA 1510 Cochran Increased Capacity of Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Raises the SPR to 1.5 billion barrels from current 1.0 billion barrels.
    SA 1511 Murkowski Study of CAFE Standards for Commercial Trucks. NHTSA to conduct study of the anticipated economic impacts and fuel saving benefits that would result from vehicle fuel economy standards for medium- and heavy duty vehicles, as specified in the main body of the bill.
    SA 1512 Murkowski Broadens the potential uses of funding proposed to support renewable energy projects in Section 215 of the bill.
    SA 1513 Murkowski and Stevens Adds personnel hiring language to the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Act.
    SA 1514 Kerry and Sanders Renewable Portfolio Standard.
  • 5% minimum for 2009 through 2012
  • 10% minimum for 2103 through 2016
  • 15% minimum for 2017 through 2019
  • 20% minimum for 2020 through 2030
  • SA 1515 Sanders, Clinton, Kerry, Biden, Salazar Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Worker Training. Establishes a public program  and funds other initiatives that provide training for jobs that are created through renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives with authorized funding of $100 million per fiscal year.
    SA 1515 agreed to in Senate by unanimous consent.
    SA 1516
    SA 1533
    Menendez Evaluate the effect the laws (including regulations) limiting the siting of privately owned electric distribution wires on and across public rights-of-way might have on the development of combined heat and power facilities.
    SA 1517 Menendez Expands the definition of “State”in the Energy Conservation and Production Act (42 U.S.C. 6862) to include the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
    SA 1518 Menendez Prohibits oil and gas leasing in the Mid-Atlantic and North Atlantic planning area of the Outer COntinental Shelf.
    SA 1519 Kohl, Specter, Leahy, Grassley, Biden, Snowe, Feingold, Schumer, Coburn, Durbin, Lieberman, Boxer, Sanders NOPEC—“No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act of 2007”. Makes it illegal under the Sherman Act for foreign cartels to limit production of oil, natural gas or petroleum products, or to set or maintain prices.  The Attorney General can sue.
    SA 1520 Cardin Establishes a “National Commission on Energy Independence” for the US.
    SA 1521 Biden Compact Fluorescent Lighting Grant Program. Establishes a program for grants to States for the distribution of medium base compact fluorescent lamps to households in the State.
    SA 1524 Salazar, Grassley, Obama, Harkin, Hagel, Lugar, Feingold, Clinton, Casey, Nelson (Nebraska), Brownback, Kohl, Kerry, Johnson, Tester, Cantwell, Thune, and Cochran Sense of Congress. By 2025, a US goal of 25% of total energy consumed should be from renewable resources, while the US continues to produce safe, abundant, and affordable food, feed, and fiber.
    Adopted by voice vote, 15 June.
    SA 1525 Sanders Standards for solar hot water heaters.
    SA 1526 Thune Extension and modification of renewable electricity production credit.
    SA 1527 Thune Extension of the ethanol tariff. Extends the tariff on imported ethanol through 2010.
    Proposed Amendments to Senate Energy Bill (amended H.R.6)
    13 June 2007
    Amendment Sponsor(s) Title and/or notes
    SA 1528 Bingaman, Domenici
  • Active coordination of the different Nanoscience Centers to maintain a globally competitive posture in energy storage systems for motor transportation and electricity transmission and distribution.
  • Any industrial participant active in a Energy Storage Research Center is to be granted the first option to negotiate with an invention owner, at least in the field of energy storage technologies, nonexclusive licenses and royalties on terms that are reasonable, as determined by the Secretary.
  • SA 1529 Bingaman and Domenici Annual reports on the quantity, type, and cost of each lighting product purchased by the Federal Government.
    SA 1530 Pryor Promotion of energy-saving performance contracts.
    SA 1531 Pryor Energy and water evaluations and efficiency measures for the Federal government.
    SA 1532 Thune Fast-track (180-day) approval of higher blends of ethanol for use in non-flex fuel vehicles for vehicles that receive a satisfactory review based on a study (also in the bill).
    SA 1534
    SA 1565
    Nelson Biofuels Investment Trust Fund.
    SA 1535 Cardin, Mikulski, Doss, Kerry, Reed, Kennedy, Whitehouse Siting, construction, expansion and operation of LNG terminals. Federal government cannot approve or disapprove an application for an LNG terminal without the express concurrence of each State affected by the application.
    SA 1537 Bingaman, Cardin, Reid, Salazar, Snowe, Durbin Renewable Portfolio Standard. A different timeline table and different end percentage:
  • 2010 through 2012: 3.75%
  • 2013 through 2016: 7.50%
  • 2017 through 2019: 11.25%
  • 2020 through 2030: 15.0%
  • SA 1538 Domenici, McConnell, Craig, Bennett, Crapo, Graham, Murkowski “Clean” Portfolio Standard. Amendment to SA 1537.
  • 2010 through 2012: 5%
  • 2013 through 2016: 10%
  • 2017 through 2019: 15%
  • 2020 through 2030: 20%

  • Defines clean energy to include nuclear generation, carbon capture and sequestration, energy efficiency or demand response programs.
    Tabled by a vote of 56-39, 14 June.
    SA 1539 Akaka, Murkowski, Snowe Marine and Hydrokinetic Renewable Energy Promotion. development of power generation from waves, tides and currents.
    SA 1540 Carper, Biden Study of Offshore Wind Resources. 
    SA 1541 Smith, Cantwell, Murkowski, Wyden National Ocean Energy Research Centers.
    SA 1542 Brownback Agricultural Byproduct Use Exposition. A trade-show for new products, such as plastics, carpets, disposable dishes, and cosmetics, produced by the entities from agricultural byproducts.
    SA 1543 Bayh, Brownback, Lieberman, Coleman, Salazar GEM Flex-Fuel Vehicle. Expands definition of flex-fuel vehicle to include M85 (85% methanol, 15% gasoline). Gasoline-E85-M85 = GEM.
    SA 1544 Casey Energy Security and Corporate Accountability Act of 2007. Targeted at oil companies.
    SA 1545 Enzi Some escape clauses for the Renewable Fuels Standard. (Drives price of food up, impacts deliverability of goods, etc.)
    SA 1546 DeMint Limitations on legislation that would drive up average fuel price for autos.
    SA 1547
    SA 1586
    Tester, Bingaman, Reid, Murkowski, Stevens, Salazar, Akaka, Sanders, Snowe National Geothermal Initiative Act of 2007. Declares a national goal to achieve at least 15% of total electrical energy production in the United States from geothermal resources by not later than 2030. Establishes an initiative to achieve that goal. $515 million from 2008 through 2012; sums as necessary 2013 through 2030.
    SA 1548 Durbin Legislative branch fleet compliance with the efficiency sections of the bill.
    SA 1549 Kohl, Feingold, Burr Use of highly energy-efficient commercial water heating equipment in Federal buildings.
    SA 1550 Wyden, Chambliss Weighing Intelligence for Smarter Energy Act of 2007. Director of National Intelligence to submit to Congress a report on the long-term energy security of the United States.
    SA 1551 Cantwell Federal Standby Power Standard.
    SA 1556 Lincoln, Domenici, Pryor, Craig, and Landrieu Clarifies regulatory scheme for the application, transportation, or storage of livestock manure or poultry litter as energy or fuel production feedstock.
    SA 1557 Klobuchar, Snowe, Bingaman National Greenhouse Gas Registry. Establishes a national greenhouse gas registry.
    SA 1558 Obama Health Care for Hybrids. Federal government will reimburse automakers up to 10% of the total health care costs for retired autoworkers, with the caveat that at least 50% of the reimbursement is put research, development production and worker retraining for fuel-efficient vehicles. Program ends in 2017.
    SA 1559 Hagel Energy-related Regulatory Reform.
    SA 1560 Hagel Tax incentives for the production and conservation of energy. Includes special measures for cellulosic ethanol plants, ethanol pipelines, and coal-to-liquids facilities.
    SA 1561 Kohl Establishes a Strategic Refinery Reserve. Refinery reserve represents excess production capacity that can be used in emergencies. Reserve refineries can be new or reopened closed refineries.
    Proposed Amendments to Senate Energy Bill (amended H.R.6)
    14 June 2007
    Amendment Sponsor(s) Title and/or notes
    SA 1562 Dorgan and Craig Domestic Offshore Energy Security Act.
  • Opens up travel to Cuba in connection with hydrocarbon exploration and extraction.
  • Expands the area for offshore oil and gas development, moving the limit to 45 miles from the coasts of Florida.
  • SA 1563 Dorgan, Craig and Kerry Support for installation of E85 pumps at retail stations.
    SA 1564 Tester Energy-Efficient Schools. Establishes a program to improve the energy-efficiency of, and use of renewable energy in, school buildings.
    SA 1566 Warner Authorizes governor of Virginia to petition for offshore gas exploration and extraction 50 miles off the coast.
    Rejected by Yea-Nay vote of 43-44, 14 June.
    SA 1567 Bingaman and Domenici Demonstration program for cost-effectiveness of advanced insulation.
    SA 1568 Bingaman and Domenici Coordination of planned outages of refineries.
    SA 1569 Bingaman and Domenici Amends technical criteria for proposed Clean Coal Power Initiative.
    SA 1570 Inhofe, Thune and Craig Pollution audits and reports. Requires detailed bi-annual audit of any funds of more than $100,000 disbursed by National Pollution Funds Center.
    SA 1571 Hagel Facilitate information sharing about and accelerate development of energy-related research.
    SA 1572 Salazar, Bayh, Brownback, Lieberman, Coleman, Cantwell, Lincoln, Clinton, Biden, Klobuchar, Durbin Electric-Drive Transportation Program. Promotes the development of plug-in electric vehicles, deploying near-term programs to electrify the transportation sector, and including electric drive vehicles in the fleet purchasing programs.
    Agreed to by voice vote, 14 June.
    SA 1573 Bingaman, Klobuchar, Reid, Cardin, Salazar Amendment to amendment SA 1537 (Renewable Portfolio Standard).
    SA 1574 Lautenberg Federal Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Establishes a Federal Emissions Inventory Office within the EPA.
    SA 1575 Voinovich, Carper and Inhofe Amends loan guarantee authority for commercial technology.
    SA 1576 Inhofe Program to accelerate use of geothermal heat pumps at General Services Administration facilities.
    SA 1577 Martinez Establishes a number of penalties and sanctions applied to persons who contribute to Cuba’s development of the undersea hydrocarbon resources off of its north coast.
    SA 1578 Menendez, Lautenberg and Dole Modifies amendment SA 1566 to require consent by states within 100 miles of the coastal waters of Virginia.
    Withdrawn, based on rejection of SA 1566.
    SA 1579 Obama National Low-Carbon Fuel Standard. Establishes a full lifecycle-based low-carbon fuel standard requiring reduction in average lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions per unit of energy of the aggregate quantity of fuels:
  • 5% reduction from baseline by calendar year 2015
  • 10% reduction from baseline by 2020
  • Reductions post 2021 are on a five-year basis and progressively lower than, but not higher than, previous years.
  • SA 1580 Bayh, Brownback, Lieberman, Coleman, Salazar Adds methanol to listing of renewable fuels.
    SA 1581
    SA 1607
    Gregg, Feinstein, Sununu, Kyl, Ensign Elimination of ethanol tariff.
    SA 1582 Martinez Encourages biofuel blenders to share credits with pipeline and common storage facilities.
    SA 1583 Martinez Accelerates waiver procedure for fuel blends.
    SA 1584 Martinez Categorization of certain blends of gasoline of not more than 3.7% oxygen, by weight, such that the gasoline is equivalent to E-10 gasoline.
    SA 1585 Lautenberg and Menendez State liability for costs incurred by other States as a result of oil or natural gas spill from offshore production.
    SA 1587 Brown Renewable Energy Innovation Manufacturing Partnership Program. Makes grants to eligible entities for use in carrying out research, development, and demonstration relating to the manufacturing of renewable energy technologies.
    SA 1588 Brown Development of a carbon labelling system for goods sold in the US.
    SA 1589 Brown Directs DOE to give financial assistance preference to higher-education for-profit partnerships involved in the development of liquid crystal, photovoltaic, and wind technologies.
    SA 1590 Brown Adds “institutions of higher education, and nonprofit hospitals” to local government buildings for receiving assistance.
    SA 1591 Brown Preference given to existing and former DOE facilities and sites for the conduct of projects and activities.
    SA 1592 Brown Emissions standards for watercraft and small spark-ignition engines.
    SA 1593 Isakson Amendment to alternative average fuel economy standard for low-volume manufacturers and new entrants.
    SA 1594 Durbin Study of establishment of a refined petroleum product reserve.
    SA 1595 Kohl Set asides for auto- and component-makers employing less than 500 people.
    SA 1596 Kohl Study of adequacy of refining infrastructure.
    SA 1597 Inouye and Dorgan Study of the adequacy of transportation of domestically-produced renewable fuel by railroads and other means of transportation.
    SA 1598 Inhofe Adds Gas-to-Liquids and Coal-to-Liquids to renewable fuels standard.
    SA 1599 Inhofe Study on modernization of the hydrocarbon reserves disclosures classification system of the Commission to reflect advances in reserves recovery from nontraditional sources (such as deep water, oil shale, tar sands, and renewable reserves for cellulosic biofuels feedstocks).
    SA 1600 Inhofe Evaluation of Fischer-Tropsch Transportation Fuels. Originally part of SA 1505, which was rejected.
  • Research and demonstration program to evaluate the air quality benefits of ultra-clean Fischer-Tropsch transportation fuel, including diesel and jet fuel;
  • Evaluate the use of Fischer-Tropsch transportation fuel as a mechanism for reducing engine exhaust emissions;
  • Submit to Congress recommendations on the most effective uses and associated benefits of those fuels with respect to reducing public exposure to exhaust emissions.
  • SA 1601 Inhofe Enables sale of additional credits by the Federal government to refineries, blenders, and importers at a price of $1.00 per gallon of gasoline equivalent to meet obligations under the renewable fuels standard.
    SA 1602 Inhofe Transitional assistance for farmers who plant dedicated energy crops for a local cellulosic ethanol facility.
    SA 1603 Brown Amends performance goals for Federal government:
  • 20% reduction in petroleum use by 2015 (2005 baseline)
  • 10% per year increase in use of alternative fuels by 2015 (2005 baseline)
  • Fleet shall be 15% hybrid or flex-fuel by 2015 and 20% by 2020
  • SA 1604 Schumer Updates state building energy efficiency codes and standards.
    SA 1605 Schumer State requirements for energy efficiency.
    SA 1606 Schumer In the absence of Federal determination or a standard for energy-efficiency of an appliance, no State standard to be pre-empted.
    SA 1608 Corker Expands definition of clean fuel:
  • not derived from crude oil
  • as compared to conventional gasoline, lifecycle emission reductions of 2 or more air pollutants
  • a 20% reduction in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional gasoline
  • SA 1609 Thune Report on electric transmission corridors.
    Proposed Amendments to Senate Energy Bill (amended H.R.6)
    15 June 2007
    Amendment Sponsor(s) Title and/or notes
    SA 1610 Cardin, Mikulski, Dodd, Kerry, Reid, Kennedy, Whitehouse, Snowe Expands definition of “Affected State” with respect to the siting, construction, expansion and operation of a liquefied natural gas terminal.
    SA 1611 Coleman Broadens requirements for cellulosic ethanol facilities receiving guarantees and gives priority to projects to be carried out in communities with a population of 25,000 or less residents.
    SA 1612 Coleman Requires report on effectiveness and practicability of national use of higher ethanol blend (such as E-15 or E-20) to achieve the most efficient expansion of ethanol use.
    SA 1613 Coleman Renewable Fuel Standard.  Sets expanded targets for renewable fuel standard along with more aggressive component requirement for advanced biofuels as part of that RFS.
  • 2008: 8.5 billion gallons
  • 2009: 10.5 billion gallons
  • 2010: 12.0 billion gallons
  • 2011: 12.6 billion gallons
  • 2012: 14.2 billion gallons
  • 2013: 15.8 billion gallons
  • 2014: 18.4 billion gallons
  • 2015: 23.0 billion gallons
  • 2016: 26.0 billion gallons
  • 2017: 29.0 billion gallons
  • 2018: 32.0 billion gallons
  • 2019: 35.0 billion gallons
  • 2020: 38.0 billion gallons
  • 2021: 41.0 billion gallons
  • 2022: 44.0 billion gallons
  • The advanced biofuel components required by the amendment are:
  • 2012: 1.0 billion gallons
  • 2013: 2.0 billion gallons
  • 2014: 4.0 billion gallons
  • 2015: 8.0 billion gallons
  • 2016: 11.0 billion gallons
  • 2017: 14.0 billion gallons
  • 2018: 17.0 billion gallons
  • 2019: 20.0 billion gallons
  • 2020: 23.0 billion gallons
  • 2021: 27.0 billion gallons
  • 2022: 30.0 billion gallons
  • SA 1614 Tester, Byrd, Rockefeller, Salazar and Bingaman Grant and Loan Program for Lower-GHG Coal Projects.
  • Projects must deliver annual lifecycle GHG at least 20% lower than conventional baseline emissions
  • At least 75% of the CO2 that otherwise would be released must the captured and stored
  • Total reduction in carbon emissions not less than 75%
  • $20 million maximum grant per project for up to 10 projects ($200 million total)
  • $10 billion loan program
  • SA 1615 Collins, Cantwell, Snowe, Murray Abrupt Climate Change Research Program. Establishes an office within NOAA to carry out a program of scientific research on abrupt climate change.
    SA 1616 Durbin and Carper Requires State and metropolitan planning organization to publish a report describing use of Federal funds to reduce gasoline demand, lower household transportation expenditures, and increase mass transit.
    SA 1617 Tester Regulatory plan for the long-term geologic storage of carbon dioxide. Requires the President acting through the Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality to develop a plan that includes elements such as performance standards; minimum sequestration times without leakage; maximum acceptable leakage; and certification standards.
    SA 1618 Inhofe Allows 100% tax deduction of expenditures for qualified 3D seismic data.
    SA 1619 Inhofe Eliminates taxable income limit on percentage depletion for oil and natural gas produced from marginal properties.
    SA 1620 Inhofe Increases tax exemptions for independent producers and royalty owners.
    SA 1621 Inhofe Increases phaseout threshold credit for producing oil and gas from marginal wells.
    SA 1622 Inhofe Expands the definition of “small refiner” from 75,000 to 100,000 barrels per day.




    Infrastructure is exactly the key to large scale E85 adoption. First the equipment must be certified by UL or other safety standard. Next would be a significant incentive to install a pump (or convert a pump) at major gas stations.

    Government leverage is needed here as oil is not anxious to lend franchise space to the competition. During the gas shortage of the early 80s, thousands of diesel pumps were installed in short order. The same approach could work for E85 - perhaps utilizing mobile storage tanks, avoiding underground installation costs.

    If there is a demand for the fuel and a mandate from Congress to get it into distribution - there will be a way.

    You are right about the fuel consumption outside transport - those transitions will take longer.

    See SA 1547, SA 1586 establishing $500M for geothermal through 2012. Please turn caps lock off in future.

    C.V. Johnston, P.E.

    I hear little discussion of the fast neutron, air cooled, pebble bed nuclear reactors. Uranium supply, safety, security and waste storage problems can be solved with this technology.

    Also nanotech batteries and all electric vehicles need serious incentives.

    Isn't it time for a Manhattan style project.

    In the mean time employ conservation.

    We love our Prius and well-source heat pump.

    Tom Caracciolo

    I am very much impressed by the comments submitted regarding the U.S. Senate energy bills. I thought it might be appropriate to submit a copy of my recent e-mail to Froma Harrop as follows:

    Dear Froma Harrop:

    I just read your article "Sticking it to OPEC". "NOPEC" is just another example of smoke and mirrors generated by our "leaders" in Washington DC; another example of how our elected officials successfully continue to mislead the general public by diverting their attention away from the source of our real problem. It seems to me that these constant diversions have been, and continue to be, orchestrated by our Big American Oil companies.

    For example, I listened to Senator Breaux sound off on CNBC television June 19, 2007 about how ethanol from corn cannot solve our energy problem and that we seriously need continued use of fossil fuel; in particular crude oil. (No mention of course of Global Warming and our serious need to reduce emissions. And of course, no mention that the biggest threat to our national security is our dependence on Mideast oil.) Shame on Breaux. Members of our Senate are supposed to oversee our Executive and Congressional Branches of Government to assure everything is being done ethically and in the best interests of all of us citizens.

    I am convinced that people like Breaux are financed and controlled by people like Rex Tillerson of EXXON who currently emphasize how ridiculous it is to depend upon corn to provide sufficient amounts of ethanol. That is supposed to convince us that more drilling in Alaska and other places like that is proper; and that we should continue to import crude oil from Mideast countries.

    We have a serious communication problem infecting our entire United States. Somehow, it has to get across to our general public that it never was intended for corn to be our only source of ethanol. Further, that it is entirely possible and viable that the eventual use of ethanol from cellulose, and biodiesel made from things like soy beans, will replace crude oil imports from the Mideast countries; especially when utilized in addition to plug-in electric cars, wind generated electricity, geothermal generated electricity, solar generated electricity, etc. When that happens, we will no longer need to maintain war ships and military personnel in and around the Persian Gulf. Hydrogen is another alternative to fossil fuels that will be popular in about ten years or so. We already have buses and cars running around on hydrogen in the U.S.

    It makes me angry that our U.S. big oil people can so easily pull the wool over our citizens eyes while concurrently raking in obscene profits.

    My grandchildren ask me what is happening because it seems to them that it is unfair for gasoline to cost so much. I tell them that it is because there are people in our country that are so powerful and greedy that they do not care what is fair; that the only thing that matters to them is that they maintain their power and wealth. I also tell them that there is no need to give up hope because there is a grass roots movement in our United States that our media is not properly reporting on television. I tell them about our Governors' American Coalition for Ethanol ( and our National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition( and about Companies like BlueFire( and many others, all part of a great big ongoing national movement that eventually will result in a massive change of power and control in our beloved country. The transition is happening now and it is similar to how a long time ago Cattle Barons wielded power until the railroads took over, and then later with our industrialized development, the steel Barons took over, and then finally how the oil Barons took over.

    It is interesting how no one listened to Dwight Eisenhower when he spoke publicly and warned all of us of the great danger of the integration of U.S.
    industry and U.S. government (successfully sustained by industrial lobbyists). It is interesting how no one listened to Jimmy Carter when he spoke publicly and warned all of us of the terrible danger and threat to U.S. security caused by our dependence upon Mideast countries oil. In both instances, our U.S. media remained silent. Why? While deductive logic is not available to us, inductive logic extrapolated from history and current events dictates that the media was and still is controlled by whoever is in power in our great nation. I believe that our United States is still the best place to live in the world. Maybe that doesn't say much for the rest of the world. I pray that our transition from fossil fuels to alternative fuels will generate a new and healthier government structure and a nation of proud and happy citizens that will enjoy a Federal Government that works for them.

    You stated in your article that "One thing Americans don't need right now is a ratcheting up of international tensions." You also fear OPEC may "retaliate by removing their investments from the United States." Further, OPEC "could replace oil sales to the United States with increased business in energy-hungry China and India." Obviously you have no knowledge of what China and India and other countries like Spain and Brazil are doing in the way of pursuing alternative fuels to get out from under their dependence on foreign oil. Brazil already reached the point of zero importation of oil! Fossil fuels as we know them today are on their way out. The currently ongoing transition is global!

    The only reason why we in the U.S. do not have an intelligent energy policy is because it threatens the current power and control of those who have too much influence and power over our media and elected leaders in Washington DC. Our American Oil industry knows that we have reached peak oil and that alternative fuels are inevitable. In the face of that, however, they will persist in pursuing every last profitable dollar they can squeeze out of imported oil from OPEC...their greatest cash cow! It does not matter to them what is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan and that our effort in Iraq is costing our country too many precious lives. The $11 or $12 billion per month expended in Iraq could be better spent by expediting development and distribution of alternative fuels at home in the U.S. We could have an intelligent energy policy! If only our media would start reporting on what is really going on in America in the way of alternative fuels. The reporting should be daily because there are successful developments occurring daily: Flexible Fuel vehicles that run on 85% ethanol; race cars running on 100% ethanol; biodiesel refineries under construction; city busses running on hydrogen; hybrid SUV's; an electric car that from a parked position can reached 60 miles per hour in four seconds, speed to 120 miles per hour and travel 200 miles without a re-charge; ethanol made from cellulose obtained from our garbage land-fills; alternative fuel for jet planes; etc., etc. Read Energy Industry Today ( and get yourself up to speed. Then please do what you can to enlighten the people of our great country with your intelligent journalism. It just may result in intelligent energy policy.

    Very truly yours,

    Tom Caracciolo

    Anacortes, Washington


    I will vote for Giuliani or the republican candidate because the republicans are the most agressive about making this country energy independent. Let's face it the biggest problem facing this country is our dependence on the islamic terrorists and despots oil. The fact is we have been sending them trillions of dollars which they are now using to build nuclear weapons with which they will use to commit acts of nuclear terrorism in the U.S. and Europe. We really need to get behind CTL and BTL, Bio-Fuels,increased domestic drilling and Nuclear power to power PHEV's and EV's in a major way. No more NIMBYism or derailing any of these technologies people. We need real legislature that will make a difference: Loan guarantees for the construction of CTL,BTL and Bio-Fuels facilities. Huge tax incentives to everyone involved and fast track permitting. No more focus on any fascist carbon tax unless you get rid of the income tax at the same time.
    Think about this, all of the oil that we currently import on long term contracts, we will sell that oil to EU,india and china and it will help us gain tremendous influence and when we ramp up renewable bio fuels from biomass we will export that also.
    U.S. energy independence is a powerful form of economic warfare, it will collapse the economies of our enemies and will be a major step in ending islamic terrorism!

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