INHOFE AMENDMENT TO ENERGY BILL SEEKS TO INCREASE DOMESTIC REFINING CAPACITY

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) today offered the Gas Petroleum Refiner Improvement and Community Empowerment Act of 2007, or the Gas Price Act (S.1503), as an amendment to the energy bill currently before the Senate.  The Gas Price Act, which is designed to ease America’s soaring gas prices, address true energy independence and increase refinery capacity, was first introduced on May 24, 2007 by Senator Inhofe.
 
The Gas Price Act would improve the permitting process for the expansion of existing and construction of new domestic fuels facilities, as well as encourage and fund the development of future fuels including coal-to-liquids and cellulosic biomass ethanol. In addition, Senator Inhofe’s amendment would provide for a more stable and certain regulatory environment and it would have numerous economic benefits including locating refineries in distressed communities.
 
Senator Inhofe introduced the amendment on the Senate Floor today; a vote is expected on the amendment tomorrow. The following remarks are from Senator Inhofe’s Floor statement:
 
“I was pleased to hear that the majority leader recognized that the US has become too reliant on foreign sources of energy,” Senator Inhofe said. “Unfortunately, the majority’s bill – at present - does not improve the situation, and indeed could worsen it. The fact is that Americans are paying more at the pump because we do not have the domestic capacity to refine the fuels consumers demand.
 
“Americans are starving for affordable energy.  The majority’s bill tells them to go on a diet. The good news is that it’s not too late to do something to improve the situation.  And it is in that good faith to improve the energy security position of our country that we are offering the Gas PRICE Act.”
 
Senator Inhofe’s amendment also requires the EPA to establish a demonstration project to assess the use of Fischer-Tropsch (FT) diesel and jet fuel as an overall emission control strategy.  Initial tests have found that FT diesel significantly reduces criteria pollutants over conventional fuels, and it can easily be transported with existing infrastructure.  Ongoing tests at Tinker Air Force Base have demonstrated that blends of FT aircraft fuel reduced particulates 47-90% and completely eliminated sulphur-dioxide emissions over fuels in use today. Syntroleum, a Tulsa based corporation, is a leader in gas-to-liquids (GTL) and coal-to-liquids (CTL) based fuels and is a partner with Tinker Air Force Base in the testing of gas-to-liquids based fuels in B-52s.
 
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