Bipartisan Group of U.S. Senators Working to Repeal Section 526
Last week a bipartisan group of senators – Sens. John Barasso (R-Wyo.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Heidi Heitkamp (D.-N.D.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) – introduced S. 1026, seeking to strike Section 526 from the EISA. In 2009, ALEC adopted a resolution calling for a repeal of this section.
Section 526 of the federal Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 prevents federal departments and agencies from purchasing fuels that have higher lifecycle emissions than that of conventional petroleum fuels. This would include a variety of non-conventional alternative or synthetic transportation fuels such as coal-to-liquids, oil shale, and oil sands. Among the entities most impacted by this provision is the military.
Interestingly, Section 526 appears to contradict Section 369 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which directs the Department of Defense to create a task force to develop a program that “coordinate[s] and accelerate[s] the commercial development of strategic unconventional fuels, including but not limited to oil share and tar sands resources within the United States.” Others have also raised interesting points about national security concerns.