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Public Statements

Energy Policy Act of 2005

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Location: Washington, DC

ENERGY POLICY ACT OF 2005 -- (Senate - June 28, 2005)

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Mr. OBAMA. Mr. President, I would like to express my gratitude to the managers of the energy bill, Senators Domenici and Bingaman, for their support of two amendments that I offered. I am proud that these amendments have been included in the legislation that the Senate will vote on today, and I believe that their enactment will help America increase its energy independence and transition our energy industry to full usage of 21st century technologies.

The first adopted amendment, which was cosponsored by Senator Lugar, provides $85 million to three universities for research and testing on developing Illinois basin coal into transportation fuels, including Fischer-Tropsch jet fuel, a type of low-emissions diesel that can be used in jets and diesel. The funds provided in this amendment will assist Southern Illinois University, Purdue University, and the University of Kentucky in upgrading existing facilities and constructing new facilities to conduct research and testing on this technology. It is critical that our Government invests in domestic fossil fuel supplies in an innovative manner, and this is a commonsense way to expand our coal industry in an environmentally friendly manner.

The second adopted amendment, which was cosponsored by Senator Bayh, provides $40 million for research on combined plug-in hybrid and flexible fuel vehicles. Today, we have the technology to produce both plug-in hybrid vehicles, which run partly on electricity rather than fuel, and flexible fuel vehicles, which run on a blend of 85 percent renewable fuel and 15 percent petroleum. But we don't yet have the technology to combine both technologies into the same car. If we could do this, there is the potential for developing a car that could get 500 miles per gallon of gasoline. At a time when our country spends billions of dollars a year on importing foreign oil, it is imperative that we take meaningful, proactive steps that not only stem our future oil dependence but also reduce our reliance on overseas sources. My amendment would do just that by stimulating the commercialization of this technology at a cost of only 6 percent of our Nation's daily spending on foreign oil.

Again, I thank the bill managers for their assistance with these amendments.

I ask unanimous consent to have the following two articles on the potential of combined plug-in hybrid/flexible fuel vehicles printed in the Record.

There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:

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