Last week Iowa Congressman Leonard Boswell, along with representatives from the Magellan Pipeline Company, Iowa Corn Growers and the Iowa Renewable Fuel Association held a press conference southeast of Des Moines, highlighting the need to improve the infrastructure for moving ethanol from the Midwest where it is produced to the rest of the country - where ethanol is used.
In July, Boswell, along with Congressman Lee Terry, R-Neb., introduced the Renewable Fuel Pipeline Act, which would qualify a renewable fuel pipeline as an eligible project under the federal loan guarantee program within the U.S. Department of Energy. Specifically, H.R. 6692, amends the loan guarantee program under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to qualify a renewable fuel pipeline as an eligible project, along with increasing the loan guarantee rate to 90%. "Biofuels are a win-win for American farmers and the consumer," says Boswell. "But we are in dire need of a safe and cost-effective way to transport it to the rest of the country. This legislation will help give companies the security they need to move forward on a renewable fuel pipeline. This is a first big step in helping bring renewable fuels in large volumes to consumers on the East and West coasts."
Biofuels good for farmers, consumers
"Passage of this legislation would help promote innovative transportation options which would assist in meeting the nation's growing need for renewable fuels," says Don Wellendorf, Magellan's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Pipelines have consistently been chosen over the years as the safest, most reliable and cost-effective method for moving liquid fuels. A renewable fuel pipeline project from the Midwest to the East coast would be a major step in bringing ethanol into the traditional petroleum infrastructure system." "Congressman Boswell's bill would help bridge a key gap between the distribution network of today and the one that is needed to meet the 36-billion gallon federal Renewable Fuels Standard," says Iowa Renewable Fuel Association's Executive Director Monte Shaw. "Enabling a renewable fuels pipeline from the Midwest to the New York Harbor will ensure most cost effective transportation options for ethanol producers on one side and even more affordable domestic fuel supplies for east coast consumers on the other."
Need to be able to deliver the fuel
"Encouraging ethanol pipelines can give more Americans access to ethanol fuels," says Roger Zylstra, an Iowa Corn Growers Association director and farmer from Lynnville. "It's a win-win because Iowa farmers can improve their profitability by supplying ethanol, and at the same time, using ethanol can lower fuel prices for other U.S. consumers the way it has here in Iowa." Today, more than 70% of the nation's gasoline supply is transported via pipelines, a method which has been found to be safe, efficient and cost effective. With more and more biofuels coming into the market and the industry reliant on more costly forms of transportation, biofuels are not an affordable choice in some of the largest population centers in the country. Currently, renewable fuels are only transported by rail and trucks across the country. "Across the nation there is broad agreement on the need to do all we can to break our dependence on foreign oil while ensuring American's have access to affordable energy," adds Boswell. "We need to ensure the proper infrastructure is in place to mobilize new supplies to meet this expanding demand."