I listened to a talk tonight by former South Dakota Senator Tom Daschle about Biofuels. This was part of the National Agriculture Biotech Conference. His discussion talked about the various reasons that development of biofuels is important such as national security, economics, environmental reasons, etc.
Senator Daschle emphasized the importance of the development of a national energy policy and has 6 major components he would like to see as part of this legislation:
- Inclusion of biofuels - develop biofuels as a substitute and not an additive of fuels, a goal of 60 billions gallons production, a 20% blend (vs 10%) and a 100% mandate of flex fuel vehicles in the near future
- Change of tax infrastructure - a variable tax credit (VCT) for biofuels, development of additional incentives for biofuels. A production tax credit (PTC) for alternatives energy forms. The current PTC is only for 1 year, but a longer term PTC is needed to encourage investment in alternative sources of energy.
- Outdated transmission and energy grid - a national crisis could be looming with a grid that has componenets dating back to the 1930's. Develop a new grid from S.D. to Texas that capitalizes on wind energy.
- Cabon Tax- implementation of a carbon tax. The Eurpoean Union has such a tax in place now. May provide new sources of revenue for investment back into research.
- Cap on cabon useage - development of a mandatory policy, further use of a carbon trade system.
- Efficiency - greater emphasis on conservation, etc.