A group of Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives has announced
details of a planned bill designed to foster energy independence and security
for the U.S.
According to a press release from the office of Democratic
Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-MD, the Program for Energy Security Act, or Progress
Act, contains five major components dealing with alternative fuels, security
and high efficiency vehicles. He and seven other Democrats in the House are
joining to push for passage of the act.
“Mr. Hoyer has done a service to the country by offering a
solid plan that will get America on track toward achieving energy
independence,” said Rep. John Dingell, D-MI, ranking Democrat on the Energy and
“Millions of vehicles already on the road are capable of
operating on alternative fuels such as E-85. His proposal would give consumers
the opportunity to use these fuels by ensuring they are readily available.”
Also supporting the act is Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-MN, ranking
Democrat on the Transportation Committee, who said it will help save fuel
The first component of the act would establish a National
Energy Security Commission consisting of government, industry and academic
representatives who would work to create national goals regarding energy
security with respect to regional energy issues and present recommendations to
Congress, which would have to act under expedited rules.
The second component would establish the New Manhattan Center for High Efficiency Vehicles that would create a vehicle efficiency
consortium and set aside a minimum of $500 million a year for 10 years for
alternative fuel and vehicle technology programs at the federal level.
The third component would establish a National Biofuels
Infrastructure Development Program that would reimburse private sector partners
to share costs of investing in wholesale and retail biofuel pumps, tanks and
other distribution equipment.
The fourth component aims to increase the use of biofuels by
developing a rail infrastructure program that would create stimulus packages to
foster the upgrade of pipelines for biofuels, including the freight rail
system, to get an affordable and reliable supply of biofuels to market.
The fifth component is to increase the use of alternative
fuels by increasing their use in federal and state fleets, by developing
biofuel plants in every region of the country and speeding the development of
quality and environmental standards that are needed to promote the use of
Other House members sponsoring the bill include: Rep. Mark
Udall, D-CO; Rep. Stephanie Herseth, D-SD; Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-OR; Rep.
Adam Schiff, D-CA; and Rep. Rush Holt, D-NJ.