And this week the U.S. Senate took some decisive steps that could dramatically expand the use of the fuel in gasoline blends.
Odd as it may sound, the measure received the approval of oil companies ... primarily because a compromise was struck. The legislation says refiners would be given more flexibility in the way they make gasoline … removing a requirement that the fuel contain a minimum amount of oxygenates.
The petroleum industry could probably also see the ammunition was piling up in favor of renewable fuels.
For example, this week, while the U.S. Senate debated energy policy a news conference was held to release a study of the economic benefits of renewable fuels. The study, commissioned by the National Corn Growers Association, said (among other things) using renewable fuels would reduce the retail price of gas by 5%... or 6.6 cents a gallon.
To help push the ethanol message to the press … were several of senators … many of whom have pushed for renewable fuels legislation on the hill for at least twenty years.
Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa: "Its strong bipartisan support and its national now. I think maybe it did start out in our area, Illinois, Iowa, the Midwest. Now its spread all over our country."
The renewable fuels standard previously passed the House and proponents are confident the agreement will reach the President's desk this year.