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Soybean Producers of America sees beans as part of clean-air solution

(Monday, Jan. 6, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- The Soybean Producers of America is calling on the White House and Congress to try their solution to the problem associated with reducing polluting emissions in off road diesel fuel use. Diesel fuel used in construction and farm equipment has been exempt from standards applied to diesel used on highways but revelations of damage to the environment and consequently to the health of Americans due to the higher sulfur levels of off road diesel fuel is demanding change.

SPA Executive Director, Harvey Joe Sanner, says, "Here is where the road to cleaner air gets blocked. Many in the industry that use and manufacture diesel engines say the costs to adapt them to use cleaner burning fuel will be horrendous. We think the science is sufficient to prove that goals could be met with increased use of bio-diesel, made from a blend of soy oil and diesel fuel. We are seeing some wonderful successes where soy-diesel is being used in farm tractors, combines and farm trucks. It is reducing pollutants, increasing engine performance and thus far not one instance of engine damage has been reported."

"If soy-diesel use alone canít meet the proposed standards, it can surely cause expensive engine adaptations to be less expensive, according to Sanner. It looks like this may be a way for us to grow ourselves out of this dilemma and create some sorely needed economic activity in our rural communities where soybeans are grown."

"Our first step must be the passage of the stalled energy bill that provides incentives for greater use of ethanol and bio-fuels. While soy-diesel may cost pennies more than petroleum diesel, it still makes sense to grow it here instead of continuing to increase our dependence on the Middle East and others for our future energy needs. In fact, our solution may be more efficient when all costs are factored in. We should grow it, sell it and use it, so we can grow more, sell more and use more of our own renewable resources." Dewayne Chappell, SPA President and a soybean farmer from Des Arc explained his excitement about this proposal by saying, "this is a fine example of American ingenuity rising to the call, itís like apple pie, motherhood, the flag and soy-diesel to the rescue!"

Harvey Joe Sanner can be reached at (501) 516-7000