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Posted on  

May 11, 2001

Senators' Letter to VP Cheney Advocates a Key Role for Renewable Fuels In Energy Policy

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) applauds Sens. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Tim Johnson (D-SD) for sending a letter to Vice President Dick Cheney today asserting their strong support for renewable fuels such as ethanol in national energy policy. Hagel and Johnson led the effort to advance a prominent role for ethanol in U.S. energy policy, and they were joined by 16 additional senators who signed the letter to Cheney.

The letter seeks establishment of a federal renewable fuels requirement for motor fuels that would replace 3 percent of the energy used in such fuels by 2011. Meeting that requirement with ethanol would require annual production of 9 billion gallons, which would exceed NCGA's goal of tripling the U.S. ethanol industry during the next decade.

A renewable fuels requirement would also achieve the displacement of about 500,000 to 600,000 barrels of crude oil each day, which promotes the energy security this nation seeks and that ethanol producers pledged. Corn-derived ethanol delivers energy security because it is a domestically produced, renewable fuel source that is immune to manipulation by foreign governments and cartels.

The letter states, ``Increasing the production and use of ethanol and biodiesel will promote a number of energy, environmental and economic public policy goals. First, it will decrease the need for imported petroleum products, reduce the stress on our refineries and reduce consumer gasoline costs. Second, it will help improve air quality across the country by reducing carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon, nitrogen oxide and toxic emissions. Third, the increased demand for grain used in the production of ethanol and biodiesel will provide an important economic stimulus to rural America. Finally, because ethanol and biodiesel are produced from renewable resources, they are the most efficient means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from motor fuels in the near term.''

The senators concluded their letter by noting, ``Mr. Vice President, we look forward to working with you over the next several months to develop a comprehensive energy policy that promotes domestic energy production from all of this country's vast natural resources, including the largely untapped energy produced by America's farmers.''

Sens. Hagel and Johnson serve on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which will write any energy legislation.

For the letter in its entirety, visit the NCGA web site: www.ncga.com .


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