“It’s in our national interests, both for security and the environment, to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Coal-to-liquids technology has been around since the 1940s and there is no question that it can be used today in our transportation markets. It can be transported in pipelines that currently exist. And, because it comes from coal – our nation’s most abundant energy source – it can be produced at home by American workers,” Enzi said. “Coal-to-liquids plants are being developed in
The amendment being offered today by Sens. Enzi, Domenici, Bunning, Larry Craig, R-Idaho and Mel Martinez, R-Fla., would establish a requirement for 6 billion gallons of coal-to-liquid (CTL) fuel between 2016 and 2022. The legislation requires that greenhouse gas emissions from coal-to-liquids fuels be 20 percent better than conventional gasoline, the same standard applied to cellulosic ethanol in the underlying bill, H.R. 6.
Wyoming Senator Craig Thomas, whose death is still being mourned by
Senator Jon Tester, D-Mont., offered a coal-to-liquids amendment today that competes with the amendment cosponsored by Enzi, but Enzi said that proposal is not only impractical, it is technologically unrealistic and could actually hinder coal-to-liquid technology development.
Votes on the coal-to-liquid proposals are expected this afternoon. Debate on the underlying energy bill is expected to continue throughout the week.
Statement of Senator Michael B. Enzi on
June 19, 2007
Mr. President. I rise today to express my strong support for Senate Amendment 1628, which was offered by my colleagues Senator Jim Bunning and Ranking Member Pete Domenici. The amendment establishes a fuel mandate program for coal-to-liquid fuel that is identical to the renewable fuel standard, which we are implementing with this legislation.
I have listened for the past week as my colleagues have discussed the importance of domestic fuels. They argue that it is essential for us to reduce our dependence on foreign energy barons and that the mandate that this bill lays out for 36 billion gallons of biofuels is an important step in becoming energy independent.
I agree with my colleagues in their assessment that we need to produce more domestic fuel, and the amendment that I am speaking in support of does just that. By mandating that we use 6 billion gallons of fuel derived from coal, we will use our nation’s most abundant energy source to help break
Coal to liquids technologies are not new. The technology has been around since the 1940s and there is no question that it can be used today in transportation markets that currently exist. It can be transported in pipelines that currently exist. And, because it comes from coal – our nation’s most abundant energy source – it can be produced at home by American workers.
Coal to liquids plants are being developed in
That is why I am speaking today in support of the amendment offered by my colleagues from
There is a competing proposal offered by my colleague from
We have an opportunity to do so today for the coal to liquids industry. However, we will do so on a smaller scale requiring just 6 billion gallons of coal derived fuel as opposed to the 36 billion gallons mandated for biofuels in this bill, and we will do so with additional environmental standards. Like the underlying legislation, we require the 20 percent lifecycle greenhouse gas reduction language. However, unlike the underlying bill, the amendment requires coal-to-liquid plants to operate with technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions.
In general, I am not a fan of mandates and so I have struggled with this issue. However, if our goal is to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign energy sources and to produce more fuel domestically, the current renewable fuels mandate has proven that it is an approach that works.
In direct contrast to the success of a mandate is the failure of the loan guarantee program, which has issued exactly zero loans almost two years after the program was created in the Energy Policy Act. The Senator from
In addition to my concerns about the loan program, I am also concerned that the Senator from
I am not a technical expert, and so I have spoken to the people who are planning coal-to-liquids facilities. None of the developers whom I have questioned have suggested that they can achieve the 75 percent mandated by the Tester amendment.
Both of the Democratic and Republican proposals will reduce greenhouse gases in a major way. Both of these amendments require a 20 percent improvement. But the Democratic proposal goes too far and sets standards that are not technologically achievable.
My colleagues are faced with a choice. The amendment offered by Senators Bunning and Domenici takes a proven approach of mandating that we use a domestic fuel. It adds responsible and reasonable environmental standards, and it will work to spur development of a domestic coal to liquids industry.
If we truly want to see coal to liquids plants built in the
I yield the floor.