Washington, DC – Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment & Public Works Committee, yesterday introduced the Domestic Fuels Security Amendment to the 9-11 bill, which seeks to improve U.S. national security.
Sen. Inhofe’s amendment recognizes that global security is tied increasingly to energy security and those security concerns extend far beyond the Middle East. Recently, Venezuela moved to nationalize U.S. oil interests while inking deals with Chinese companies to explore the oil-rich country. Last year, Fidel Castro signed an agreement with China to permit their communist cousin to explore for resources in Cuban waters.
"My amendment lays out a coordinated plan to increase the production of critical clean transportation fuels for today and tomorrow in order to enhance energy security, job security and American security. The DFSA will increase our ability to provide fuel for our country from domestic resources in order to lessen our reliance on foreign supplies of energy," Senator Inhofe said.
"The DFSA requires the federal government to assist States - in consultation with the state and local officials - in the permitting process for domestic fuels facilities. The DFSA would look to the future and conduct a full environmental review of fuel derived from coal, which the U.S. has 27 percent of the world’s coal – the largest in the world – nearly 250 billion tons of recoverable reserves. It is critical that we learn to use what we have and do so in an environmentally responsible way. I look forward to a healthy debate on this issue," Senator Inhofe said.
The DFSA seeks to spur a viable coal-to-liquids industry in a comprehensive way. The amendment provides loan guarantees and loans for the start up costs. It provides incentives to some of the most economically distressed communities – Indian tribes and those affected by BRAC – to consider locating a facility in their backyard through Economic Development Administration grants. In addition, the amendment requires the Department of Defense to study the national security benefits of having a domestic coal-to-liquids (CTL) fuels industry – to comprehensively assess a new market.
DSFA is designed to counteract global energy instability. In December 2005, Russia decided to turn off the gas to Ukraine, affecting imports into Italy, Austria, Germany, Poland, and Slovakia. According to Congressional Research Service, global energy demand is expected to rise by nearly 60% over the next 20 years.