The U.S. Senate spent Thursday afternoon voting on some 30 amendments to the Transportation Bill. One amendment focused on authorization of the XL Pipeline. The project would create 20,000 American jobs, generate $20.9 billion in new private sector spending, reinforce America's energy security, and benefit 1,400 American job creators all without costing taxpayers a dime. That amendment, which was introduced in January by Senator John Hoeven, R-N.D., failed.
An amendment that would establish a dedicated revenue stream through the Off-System Bridge Program for bridges that are not on federal-aid or the National Highway System was introduced by Senators Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Bob Casey, D-Pa.
"We must work together in Washington to make smart investments to develop a long-term federal plan for our infrastructure systems nationwide in order to provide communities and job creators greater certainty to prepare for the future," Blunt said.
Other amendments that the Senate is dealing with include extension of the Cellulosic Biofuels Producer Tax Credit; the Accelerated Depreciation Allowance for Cellulosic Biofuel Plant Property; incentivizing installation of flex pumps, and providing consumers relief from rising oil costs.
Earlier in the day several organizations came out in support of the tax related amendments. Advanced Ethanol Council; the National Biodiesel Board; and the National Farmers Union all voiced their support. NFU President Roger Johnson said the amendment written by Senate Ag Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., would help farmers and ranchers be part of the energy solution by creating home-grown biofuels.
The Advanced Ethanol Council and National Biodiesel Board support amendments to the transportation bill dealing with extension of energy related tax credits. Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs at the National Biodiesel Board, said this is about creating good-paying jobs and building up a U.S. energy industry that will help end our dangerous vulnerability to the kinds of oil price spikes we're seeing now.