Democratic lamwakers introduce energy legislation

Amanda Carey Contributor
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Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Tim Johnson of South Dakota introduced an energy bill Thursday that focuses on developing domestic renewable energy. The move comes after months of Republican attacks on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and government-funded clean energy projects.

Called the Securing America’s Future with Energy and Sustainable Technologies (SAFEST) Act, the bill would establish long-term incentives for the development of biofuels infrastructure, extend ethanol tax credits, and impose a renewable electricity standard of 25 percent by 2025.

Last year, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved a plan with a renewable electricity standard of only 15 percent by 2025.

“The strength of our nation is tied to the strength of our energy economy,” Klobuchar said in a statement announcing the bill.  “At a time of rising gas prices, this bill will provide incentives that can help us utilize more homegrown biofuels, strengthen our homegrown energy economy in Minnesota, and secure our energy future.”

“This legislation invests in jobs on farms and in manufacturing in America,” Johnson added. “This will prevent us going from importing oil to importing wind turbines and electric cars.”

This bill comes the same week a key House subcommittee approved a bill that would prevent the EPA from regulating carbon dioxide emissions. The Senate version of the EPA-blocking bill is expected to be marked up in April.