What: All Issues : Government Checks on Corporate Power : Utility Industry : Title: CLEAN Energy Act (H.R. 6), Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) amendment to require that 6 billion gallons of "clean" coal-derived fuels be produced by 2022/On adoption of the amendment
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Title: CLEAN Energy Act (H.R. 6), Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) amendment to require that 6 billion gallons of "clean" coal-derived fuels be produced by 2022/On adoption of the amendment
senate Roll Call 213     Jun 19, 2007
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

This vote was on an amendment to legislation aiming to reduce the country's dependence on fossil fuels. The amendment, proposed by Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) would have mandated that 6 billion gallons of "clean" coal-derived fuels be produced by 2022. The fuel would have to have 20 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline and have been produced by facilities that sequester 100 percent of carbon dioxide emissions.

The bill to which Bunning was seeking to amend would aim to reduce the country's reliance on fossil fuels by increasing fuel-economy standards for vehicles and mandating the use of 15 billion gallons of ethanol annually by 2015. The underlying bill would also encourage research on carbon-sequestration (keeping carbon dioxide from escaping into the atmosphere and thus preventing it from contributing to climate change), mandate that the federal government get 15 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2015 and require the State Department to pursue alliances with both energy-consuming and energy-producing nations.

The provision in Bunning's amendment that would have required that liquefied coal put out 20 percent less greenhouse gases than gasoline was the same standard the underlying bill applied to fuels created from cellulosic ethanol, which is produced a variety of different kinds of plant tissues.

Bunning's amendment was opposed by environmental groups including the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. The coalition expressed concern that Bunning's proposal would contribute to global warming and increase greenhouse gas emissions, despite Bunning's insistence that all of the carbon dioxide produced would be captured. Bunning said that producing carbon-neutral fuels from coal was not "pie in the sky" and that the possibilities were real.

Opposition to the amendment from Democrats was unanimous, and six Republicans joined them in rejecting Bunning's proposal. Thus, on a vote of 39 to 55, energy legislation aiming to reduce the country's dependence on fossil fuels went forward without an amendment that would have mandated the production of 6 billion gallons of fuel from "clean" coal technologies by 2022.

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