Energy legislation was passed by both the House and Senate this summer, but stalled in conference. Leaders in both chambers are predicting action on the Energy Bill before Christmas, but Senator Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, says finishing the bill this year will be difficult. Although the Senate will be in session three weeks in December, Grassley says the House will likely be in session only a few days. There has been some speculation of a scaled-down version of the Energy Bills passed earlier this year.
Senator Pete Domenici, R-N.M., the ranking member on the Senate Energy Committee, has said the increased Renewable Fuel Standard is the most important piece of the Energy Bill. Because of the gridlock on the Energy Bill he has decided to try to attach it to the Farm Bill, which currently is stalled over limiting amendments.
"I don't know what issues it brings up as far as procedure and what sort of problems that's going to be in conference," Grassley says. "But if I have a chance to vote for an RFS increase, I'm going to vote for it regardless of what vehicle it's on."
The proposed increased RFS would require by 2022 that production of renewable fuels be at least 36 billion gallons.