Pro Farmer Editors
U.S. Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), John Thune (R-SD) and Tim Johnson (D-SD) today introduced legislation that authorizes loan guarantees for the construction of renewable fuel pipeline projects. While the Midwest and Plains states produce the majority of the biofuels in the United States, the nation is currently lacking the infrastructure to efficiently transport these liquid fuels to population centers in the East and elsewhere. This bill will address this issue by encouraging the construction and use of pipelines which can easily transport these fuels in a clean, safe and cost efficient manner.
“We must seize control of our energy future and take major steps towards the use of clean, renewable home-grown sources of energy,” said Harkin. “Promoting the planning and development of projects that transport renewable fuels efficiently and inexpensively helps enlarge the market for biofuels like ethanol, reduces our dependence on foreign fuels and will provide good construction jobs.”
“Pipelines are the safest, most reliable, and cost effective way to move biofuels from the areas they are produced to the markets where they are consumed,” said Thune. “These pipelines will reduce energy costs across the country as well as create an estimated 25 jobs for every $1 million of construction. Access to ethanol-dedicated pipelines will benefit both consumers and the ethanol industry for years to come.”
“Many experts believe that a pipeline network to transport biofuels is necessary to achieve the aggressive renewable fuel requirements. But limited transportation options of truck, rail and barge will only get us so far. Pipelines are necessary to get this fuel moving to where the people are. These loan guarantees will spur pipeline development and help create new jobs and lower our dependence on foreign sources of energy,” said Johnson.
When compared to other forms of biofuel transportation, pipelines have the lowest energy input requirements and produce the least amount of carbon emissions. In fact, pipelines produce 30 percent less emissions than railcars and 87 percent less than trucks. Pipeline transport of biofuels is also safer than using trucks or trains. In addition to these efficiency and safety advantages, it is estimated that the construction projects related to the renewable fuel pipelines will create up to 25,000 jobs nationally.