WASHINGTON– Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) released the following statement after introducing the bi-partisan American Alternative Fuels Act of 2011 (H.R. 2036):
“In the 9th District of Virginia and around the nation, soaring gas prices are hitting working families and small businesses hard,” said Congressman Griffith. “It’s clear that we need more American energy options. This bi-partisan legislation would remove barriers to the production of alternative fuels, including those derived from coal, algae, biomass, and waste. Coal is abundant in Southwest Virginia. The very resources found in our region can play an important role in lowering energy costs nationwide. Using these alternative fuels will help lower gas prices by reducing our dependence on foreign oil and increasing domestic fuel supplies. It will also create new demand for American coal.”
Congressman Charles Gonzalez (D-TX) joined Congressman Griffith in introducing H.R. 2036:
“As we approach the summer driving season, the high costs at the pumps are burdening American families and Congress should not just stand idly by,” said Congressman Charles Gonzalez. “This legislation, which would tap into our alternative energy resources and diversify our country’s energy portfolio, is a critical step to bring down the cost of gasoline.”
Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), Energy and Environment Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL), and Congressman Denny Rehberg (R-MT) are also original cosponsors of the American Alternative Fuels Act.
1) Repeals barriers to domestic fuel production: The bill repeals Section 526 of the 2007 Energy bill, which greatly restricts the federal government from buying alternative fuels.
2) Increases transparency in the Loan Guarantee Program: The bill creates a reporting requirement for domestic fuel-focused Loan Guarantee applications that are facing continued delays at the Department of Energy. Increasing transparency in the Loan Guarantee Program will help speed the process by pinpointing the delays in the bureaucratic process.
3) Promotes algae-based fuel: The bill provides incentives under the renewable fuel standard for algae-based fuel that uses carbon capture and sequestrations.
4) Synthetic Natural Gas Production: The bill clarifies that synthetic natural gas production facilities are eligible for the loan guarantee program. Synthetic natural gas can be produced from coal, biomass, petroleum coke, or solid waste.
5) DOD Long-Term Contracting Authority: The bill allows the Department of Defense to enter into long-term contracts (20 years) for purchasing alternative fuels.
6) Electric Vehicle Impact on Electricity Demand: The bill requires EPA to take into account both the increased demand and the decreased emissions resulting from electric vehicle use in setting performance standards for new electric generation facilities.