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US House Panel Expected To Approve Biofuels Bill Wednesday January 30, 2007

Posted by notapundit in Congress, Politics, US News.
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WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)–The U.S. House Committee on Science and Technology is expected Wednesday to approve a bill that would boost research needed to help make biofuels more compatible with the nation’s existing energy infrastructure.

Biofuels like E-85, which is an 85% ethanol, 15% gasoline motor fuel blend, have different chemical properties that can lead to corrosion of traditional storage tanks and pipelines.

To address the issue, the legislation, which enjoys bipartisan support on the committee, would direct the Energy Department and the National Institute of Standards and Technology to research and develop new technologies that could solve some of the challenges with distributing alternative fuels.

At a hearing to examine the bill Tuesday, Rep. Nick Lampson, D-Texas, said it’s not enough to develop new alternative fuels. “We also must ensure the availability of infrastructure and equipment for transporting, distributing, and utilizing these new fuels at a reasonable cost.”

The bill also directs the DOE and the NIST to develop an accurate way to test the sulfur content of a more air-friendly diesel fuel known as Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel, or ULSD.

“This bill is going to pass. It’s good legislation,” said Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Texas.

Hall said he wanted the bill to include other provisions that would have boosted research for clean coal and renewable energy projects, but that he wouldn’t let his concerns stifle the bill.

“I’m for the bill and I want it to get to the House, to the Senate, and to the president so he can sign it,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lampson, the head of the panel’s subcommittee on energy and technology, said that if the committee signs off on the bill Wednesday as expected, it would likely be taken up on the House floor next week.

By Maya Jackson Randall, Dow Jones Newswires

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