WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Citing delays in reconciling energy legislation passed by both chambers of Congress earlier this year, two Democratic senators on Thursday unveiled a stand-alone bill to require 18 billion gallons of renewable fuels to be blended with U.S. gasoline supply by 2016.
Sen. Barack Obama, Illinois Democrat and 2008 presidential candidate, and Sen. Tom Harkin, Iowa Democrat and chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, offered a bill that would raise the U.S. renewable fuel standard to 18 billion gallons by 2016, including 3 billion gallons from advanced biofuels like cellulosic ethanol.
Corn prices are at record levels mostly due to stellar growth in demand for ethanol. Iowa and Illinois lead the nation in corn production.
The ethanol measure could be tacked on to a farm bill that the Senate is preparing to debate in coming weeks.