U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp is supporting a bipartisan proposal to expand the federal government's fuel sources. Heitkamp is a cosponsor of the North American Alternative Fuels Act, which would repeal a law that prohibits federal agencies from purchasing certain fuels, including those produced from coal and oil shale.
"In North Dakota we believe in an all-of-the-above energy policy as a means of achieving North American energy independence and energy security. To become energy independent, we need to take advantage of our diverse energy mix and not restrict the ability of certain parties, especially the federal government, to use a wide-range of fuels," said Heitkamp.
Heitkamp believes that a blanket prohibition on the purchase of certain types of fuels makes no sense from a national security standpoint or from a practical standpoint of making all resources available to federal government agencies.
The North American Alternative Fuels Act would repeal section 526 of Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Section 526 prohibits federal agencies from purchasing certain fuels unless the contract specifies that the alternative fuel emits less greenhouse gas than fuel produced from conventional petroleum sources. Because of this, section 526 prohibits certain Federal government agencies from purchasing transportation fuel produced from coal, oil shale, and oil sands.
The bill, introduced by Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), is also co-sponsored by Senators John Hoeven (R-ND), Dan Coats (R-IN), Mike Enzi (R-WY), and James Inhofe (R-OK).