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There has been talk of a continental U.S. ethanol pipeline before. Back in 2006, Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) proposed legislation on the issue, but it didn't get very far. The idea didn't die, though. This past week, Magellan Midstream Partners and Buckeye Partners announced that the two companies would begin thinking about building a 1,700-mile pipeline across half the continent to bring ethanol from the corn states of Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and South Dakota to Pennsy

Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Barak Obama (D-IL) want to see more biofuels produced and they've introduced a bill that they hope will make it happen. The bill would change the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) to require the production of 18 billion gallons of biofuels annually by 2016. That number would include 3 billion gallons of advanced fuels like cellulosic ethanol in that timeframe.