Not a Lexis+ subscriber? Try it out for free.


House voted to lift ban on the Federal Government using nonconventional fuels that could increase GHG emissions; Senate voted to allow importation of oil from tar sands

As part of the 2010 Defense Authorization legislation (HR 2647) the House revised the language of Section 526 of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-140) the prohibits Federal agencies from using nonconventional fuels that produce more GHG emissions than traditional petroleum-based fuels. The provision was targeted chiefly at transportation fuels derived from coal, oil shale, and tar sands absent the development and deployment of technology to address their higher carbon emissions. The practical effect of the amendment is to allow the Air Force to continue testing coal-to-liquids fuels, which it has apparently been doing for some time.
The Senate is considering legislative language, approved by the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee, which would allow U.S. refiners to continue importing Canadian oil made from tar sands. Just last Thursday, the State Department issued a permit to Enbridge Inc. for a pipeline to bring tar sands oil to the U.S. Not surprisingly, environmental advocacy groups have noted their intent to file lawsuits to stop the project.
Thus, the language of the two bills could play a crucial role in determining whether the permit is moot.