Washington, DC — Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) believes that Congress needs to work together to lower the gas and fuel prices that strain the family budgets of hardworking Americans. A recent study by the Consumer Federation of America found that gasoline could be as much as eight cents a gallon cheaper if ethanol were used more in the fuel supply.

As the Ranking Democratic Member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, Tom Harkin aggressively advocates adding more renewable fuels into the nation’s fuel supply. Senator Tom Harkin praised adoption of an amendment to the Senate energy bill today to more than double the use of ethanol over the next seven years. The amendment establishing a renewable fuels standard (RFS), ensuring at least eight billion gallons of ethanol and biodiesel a year in the fuel supply by 2012. Harkin first called for this standard in the “Fuels Security Act of 2005,” introduced earlier this year.

“This is great news for America’s consumers, farmers and rural communities,” said Harkin. “Renewable fuels promise to help lower fuel prices, reduce our energy dependence, stimulate the rural economy and improve our environment. If we are truly committed to promoting home-grown fuels, this eight billion gallon mark is badly needed and should remain part of any energy bill passed by Congress.”

The House energy bill contains an RFS of only five billion gallons a year, three billion less than the amendment passed today. Expected production of renewable fuels will already reach four billion gallons this year. Senator Harkin’s continued hard work in the Senate ensures that Iowa’s farmers are a part of the solution to America’s fuel crisis.