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Broad coalition urges Senate to enact a renewable fuels standard

(Feb. 25, 2002 CropChoice news) The following comes from an American Corn Growers Association press release. In a letter to the U.S. Senate today, a broad coalition of agriculture groups, renewable fuel producers, and environmental organizations urged the Senate to enact a renewable fuels standard (RFS) as the body works on comprehensive energy legislation. An RFS would require a small percentage of our nation's fuel supply to be provided by renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. Under the pending legislation, the requirement would increase from 2 billion gallons in 2003 to 5 billion gallons in 2012.

The letter stated: "As the debate on energy moves forward in the United States Senate, we believe one of the goals of energy independence should be to promote the production of renewable domestic fuels. We believe an extraordinary opportunity is at hand to increase energy independence, reduce oil imports, and stimulate farm economies."

"The expanded use of clean burning ethanol, from both starch and cellulose, and biodiesel will improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gases, diversify our fuel supply, and promote investment and job creation in rural communities," the letter continued.

Today, 58 ethanol facilities have the capacity to produce 2.3 billion gallons per year. Sixteen new facilities under construction will add more than 400 million additional gallons of capacity by the end of the year. Dozens more plants are in various stages of development.

"The goal of this nation ought to be the expansion of the renewable fuels industry, and the renewable fuels provisions lend certainty and confidence to the marketplace, encouraging investment in these value-added processing facilities," the letter concluded. "We stand ready to assist you in developing and implementing a plan for energy independence that includes renewable fuels."

The letter was signed by Renewable Fuels Association, Environmental and Energy Study Institute, National Farmers Union, American Bioenergy Association, National Corn Growers Association, American Corn Growers Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, Clean Fuels Development Coalition, American Coalition for Ethanol, National Grain Sorghum Producers, New Uses Council, Global Biorefiner, and the American Soybean Association.

A copy of the complete letter may be obtained by contacting any of the coalition members.

Contact: Larry Mitchell (202)835-0330. http://www.acga.org