Commons passes biofuels bill

The House of Commons has passed the government’s bill to legislate the minimum level of farmed fuels coming out at the pump.

The bill passed Wednesday will require all gasoline sold in Canada to contain five per cent ethanol by 2010, and all diesel and heating oil to contain two per cent renewable fuels by 2012.

The bill (C-33) now goes to the Senate for debate, the government said in a release Wednesday.

The bill passed in the minority Commons with the support of the official opposition Liberals. “It is unfortunate that the NDP and Bloc (Quebecois) voted against this legislation, because it’s a double-win for both farmers in Canada and the environment,” said Gerry Ritz, the Conservatives’ agriculture minister, in the government’s release.

Environment Minister John Baird said in the same release that the biofuel mandate will amount to the equivalent environmental benefit of taking a million cars off the road.

Players in Canada’s ethanol industry, not surprisingly, hailed the move.
“With the National Energy Board predicting today that oil will stay
around the $130 mark all summer due to strong demand and tight supply,
Canadians need choice now more than ever,” said Bob Gallant, CEO
of Toronto-based GreenField Ethanol, in a company release Wednesday.

“Right now,” he said, “as a result of grain ethanol, we have a market in Canada, we
have infrastructure, we have customers using our product, we have companies
like GreenField that have earnings and investments and are pouring millions
into research and development for next-generation cellulosic ethanol.”

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