Farm Industry News Blog

Election Bodes Well for Biofuels

Biofuels will be well served by the incoming Obama administration, says Ernie Shea, project coordinator, 25x’25, an alliance of agriculture, business, labor, conservation and religious groups whose goal is to have America’s farms, forests and ranches provide 25% of the total energy consumed in the U.S. by 2025.

President-elect Barack Obama has had a strong record of showing support of biofuels, including next generation biofuels, Shea says. President-elect Obama “appreciates and understands the need for enabling policies that support this young industry,” Shea says. “He has a well developed understanding of how renewable energy from farms and forestry could be part of a new economy.”

In an interview with AgriTalk’s Mike Adams in late October, Heather Zichal, policy director for energy, environment and agriculture for the Obama campaign, said that Obama will support the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that was part of the Energy Independence and Security Act signed into law by President Bush last December.

The RFS currently requires 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel to be used by the year 2022, with 21 billion gallons coming from advanced biofuels, including cellulosic ethanol.

President-elect Obama is proposing to expand the RFS to 60 billion gallons of biofuels by 2022. Moreover, he will support continued R&D into the next generation of feedstock and processing technologies.

Obama’s stance is in sharp contrast to Senator McCain’s opposition of the RFS and proposal to eliminate it.

*The 25x'25 organization is supported financially by the Energy Future Coalition (www.energyfuturecoalition.org), a non-partisan public policy initiative funded by foundations.

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