Recent Press Releases

Renewable Energy a Must as Foreign Sources of Oil Become More Unstable

Calls on Democrat Colleagues to End Obstruction of Alternative Fuels Bill

September 21, 2006

Washington, DC —  Senator John Thune today spoke again on the Senate Floor urging his Democrat colleagues to work together to pass his bipartisan legislation to expand alternative fuel infrastructure, which is currently being blocked by an anonymous Democrat hold. He noted the growing need to pass this kind of legislation and transition to alternative fuels, as foreign sources of oil from nations like Venezuela become more unstable. The legislation was introduced by Senator Thune and Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO), and is cosponsored by Senators Jim Talent (R-MO), Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Kent Conrad (D-ND).

The Alternative Fuel Grant Program would provide grants (up to $30,000) to gas stations owners across the country for the installation of alternative fuel pumps, giving consumers greater opportunities to opt for cleaner, more environment-friendly fuels such as E-85 ethanol, compressed natural gas or bio-diesel, in an effort to reduce our nation's dependence on foreign oil.

"Americans are increasingly concerned with our nation's overdependence on foreign sources of energy-much of which comes from countries rife with political unrest and anti-American sentiment. We've heard recent hostile statements from leaders like Hugo Chavez of Venezuela who has suggested the United States was behind the September 11th attacks, has discussed combining several of South America's largest armies to counter U.S. influence and has called the United States the `greatest threat' to the world," Thune said. "In light of the fact that America currently imports 1 million barrels of oil a day from Venezuela, the comments of Mr. Chavez are yet again another reminder of our nation's dangerous overdependence on foreign sources of energy.

"Because of instabilities in countries such as Venezuela, we must speed up our effort in this country to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and make a shift to home-grown renewable fuels like E-85 ethanol and bio-diesel. The Alternative Fuel Grant Program Senator Salazar and I have proposed would greatly increase the availability of alternative fuels, such as E-85, compressed natural gas, and bio-diesel, allowing more American consumers to fill up using cleaner, more cost-effective fuels that are better for the environment and made here in America. However, for some unknown reason some of my Democrat colleagues have placed secret holds on this non-controversial bill.

"In light of the clear message from the American public that they want Congress to do more to increase the availability of alternative fuels, I hope my Democrat colleagues will drop any objections so this measure can be passed by the Senate and sent to the President for his signature."