Senators Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Richard Lugar, R-Indiana, introduced a bill Friday that would direct the U.S. Department of Energy to study the feasibility of transporting ethanol by pipeline from the Midwest to the East and West coasts, where demand is growing.
Although the demand for ethanol is growing, an ethanol pipeline system may take a decade or more to finish.
"With the ethanol production and demand both on the rise, we need an accurate and fair analysis of the potential to distribute ethanol around the country by pipeline," says Harkin. "We continue to hear comments that it can't but done efficiently, but it is happening right now in Brazil. The goal of this bill is to examine the issue and get all the facts on the table."
A dedicated pipeline system could enable the Midwest's ethanol producers to deliver their products to states with a growing demand on either coast. Ethanol use has increased by more than 20% each of the past several years.