Sens. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Tim Johnson (D-SD) recently introduced the "Renewable Fuels for Energy Security Act of 2001" bill.

The American Soybean Association (ASA ) has worked closely with the Senators on the legislation that sets a federal goal for increased national use of renewable fuels, such as biodiesel and ethanol.

ASA says the legislation is needed to help renewable fuels be part of the solution as America seeks ways to reduce years of U.S. dependence on petroleum products.

Under the measure, renewable fuels would account for 3 percent of highway transportation fuels by 2011 and 5 percent by 2016. It will allow flexible approaches to comply with program goals, in ways that best fit within the operations of fuel providers.

The bill would require fuel refiners, blenders, and importers to meet the standard on a 6-month average basis. It establishes provisions that allow credit trading across geographic regions and between years with credits expiring after two years.