Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Congressman Leonard Boswell (D-IA) released the following statements regarding the Department of Energy's (DOE) new report titled "Dedicated Ethanol Pipeline Feasibility Study." This study was ordered in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). The study examined the economic viability of a pipeline to transport ethanol from the Midwest to the East Coast under various pipeline cost and transport volume scenarios. In spite of the documented challenges and risks, the DOE study suggests that a profitable dedicated ethanol pipeline is feasible under certain scenarios. At the same time, development of such a pipeline could be expedited with federal support in the form of a loan guarantee for the project. A full copy of the report can be found here.
"We need to continue the steady expansion of clean, domestic biofuels, as required by the Renewable Fuels Standard," said Senator Harkin. "Biofuels are one of our best weapons for reducing our dangerous dependence on oil - a goal that we all share. By providing federal loan guarantees for biofuels' pipelines, we can attract private investment in large infrastructure development projects, create good-paying jobs and further move our nation towards energy independence and security, and all with minimal taxpayer investment."
"The DOE's study findings prove that not only is a renewable fuel pipeline feasible, but it would have important benefits to Iowa and the country as a whole," said Boswell, who authored H.R. 4674, the Renewable Fuel Pipeline Act of 2010. "In addition to reducing greenhouse gases emitted during truck and rail transport of biofuels, it would also reduce the overall cost of these renewable fuels to consumers outside of the Midwest. This would create a greater demand and bolster the renewable fuel industry in Iowa. A renewable fuel pipeline not only creates jobs, but it helps our rural communities thrive."
Harkin is promoting inclusion of a biofuels' pipeline loan guarantee authority in a Senate energy bill and has previously introduced legislation to promote a biofuels pipeline. Boswell has introduced H.R. 4674 with Congressman Lee Terry of Nebraska to amend the loan guarantee program under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to specifically qualify a renewable fuel pipeline as an eligible project, along with authorizing the loan guarantee rate at 80 percent.