Friday, January 16, 2009

Ag, Energy cabinet picks talk alternative energy

Green energy has taken center stage at some Senate confirmation hearings this week, as the secretary-designates of energy and agriculture answered questions on alternative fuels.

Stephen Chu, the Nobel Prize-winning scientist seeking confirmation as energy secretary, told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that if wind power is to grow as an alternative energy source, more high-voltage transmission lines are needed. Philip Brasher of The Des Moines Register quotes Chu as saying more study is needed to determine whether higher biofuel blends are feasible for automobiles: "'This is one of the things we have to look at in conjunction with the automobile industry as to whether we can go to E15, E20 and higher,' Chu said, referring to the terms for fuel blends that are 15 percent or 20 percent ethanol. 'This is something on the table.'"(Read more) Stephen Mufson of The Washington Post notes that Chu also tempered some of his previous statements that criticized coal and supported gasoline taxes and a cap-and-trade system for limiting air pollution. (Read more)

Tom Vilsack, the former Iowa governor up for agriculture secretary, answered questions from the Senate Agriculture Committee and stressed the need to develop second-generation biofuels, in response to concerns over ethanol's impact on the global food supply, Brasher wrote for the Register. (Read more)

1 comment:

Russ H said...

Anything that will decrease our demand for foreign oil will bring positive results over the long term. Good to see the discussions on this happening.