Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced legislation today with Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) that focuses on developing and deploying safe, reliable domestically grown and produced energy. The Securing America’s Future with Energy and Sustainable Technologies Act (SAFEST) establishes strong renewable energy and energy efficiency standards, incentives for developing biofuels and biofuel infrastructure, and targets for the availability of advanced vehicle technologies.
“The strength of our nation is tied to the strength of our energy economy,” Klobuchar said. “Not only are we still dependent on foreign oil, other countries are making great strides in developing clean energy technologies. With the ingenuity of American farmers and manufacturers, we have the ability to be the global leader in energy. This bill will provide incentives that can boost our economy and help us secure our energy future.”
“This bill will boost the economy by replacing imported oil with homegrown biofuels and renewable energy. Jobs will be created across the entire economy to produce parts and components for wind farms and by manufacturing vehicles that can run on higher blends of renewable fuels. It’s a win for energy security and economic security,” said Johnson.
According to the Energy Information Administration, the United States currently imports 60 percent of the oil it consumes on a daily basis, which equals hundreds of billions of dollars a year spent on foreign oil. In light of the worst oil spill in U.S. history, reliance on oil poses a risk to the nation’s economy and natural resources. Additionally, 2009 marked the first year that the United States was overtaken by China as the leader in clean energy investments. China has established strong energy standards and clean energy targets that have strengthened its economy, with the development of a strong manufacturing base and export market for new clean energy technologies.
The Klobuchar-Johnson legislation would develop American homegrown energy technologies by providing long-term incentives for the development of renewable fuels, renewable electricity, and increased energy efficiency. Specifically, the legislation would:
- Establish a strong renewable electricity standard of 25 percent renewable energy by 2025
- A strong energy efficiency resource standard (1 percent per year)
- A long-term extension of tax credits for ethanol and biodiesel
- New incentives for biofuels infrastructure and deployment
- Targets for the availability of advanced vehicle technologies
In addition to reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil, the bill would have a positive economic impact. The American Council for Energy Efficiency estimates that the national energy efficiency resource standard in the bill would create energy bill savings of $168.6 billion by 2020, enough energy to power approximately one-third of all households in the United States. Recent studies indicate that the renewable electricity standard in the bill could create more than a quarter-of-a-million new jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent in 2020.
The domestic biofuels industry employs 500,000 farmers, producers, and processors. The long-term tax incentives and new provisions for biofuels infrastructure included in the bill are expected to create jobs, provide an economic boost to rural communities, and significantly reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
The SAFEST bill has been endorsed by Growth Energy, the American Wind Energy Association, the Renewable Fuels Association, Minnesota Soybean Growers Association, and the National Association of Corn Growers.