ROSKAM AMENDMENT PASSES HOUSE
Congressman Peter J. Roskam (R-IL) today successfully offered an amendment on the House Floor advancing the development of alternative energy while saving $10 million in taxpayer dollars. The amendment was added to H.R. 547, the Advanced Fuels Infrastructure Research and Development Act, and requires that the $10 million to fund three new federal programs created by the legislation comes from previously appropriated monies within the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) instead of creating new federal spending. Roskam's amendment was accepted on the House Floor.
"Environmental stewardship and fiscal responsibility are not mutually exclusive and I believe strongly in both," said Roskam. "H.R. 547 is a great bill. I support and encourage the development and use of alternative fuels. My one concern with this legislation was its cost. Washington must live within its means."
H.R. 547 authorizes $10 million for the EPA to create three new federal programs for research to improve the transportation and storage of alternative fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. Illinois ranks second in U.S. corn production. The corn grown in Illinois is used to produce 40 percent of the ethanol consumed in the United States. Investment by the ethanol industry in Illinois exceeds $1 billion, generating 800 jobs in plant operations and 4,000 jobs in the industry-related service sector.
Currently, ethanol is not compatible with the existing distribution pipeline infrastructure. Therefore, it must be transported by tanker truck and rail - making long-distance shipping extremely expensive.
"Ethanol and other biofuels mean jobs for Illinois and clean air for our children," concluded Roskam. "H.R. 547 would charge the EPA with testing new technologies to ease problems associated with transportation and storage of these alternative fuels and my amendment made sure that those programs go forward without costing American taxpayers more money out of their pocket."
H.R. 547 passed by a vote of 400-3.