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ACGA applauds passage of Renewable Fuels Standard

(Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- From a news release.

Contact: Larry Mitchell (202) 835-0330

WASHINGTON - The American Corn Growers Association (ACGA) applauds the passage of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) by the U.S. Senate as an essential component of the energy bill passed last week and now moving to a conference with the U.S. House of Representatives. ACGA President Keith Dittrich, a corn farmer from Tilden, Neb., commended Senate Majority Leader Frist and Senate Minority Leader Daschle for the ingenuity and leadership they exhibited by substituting the 2002 Senate energy bill for this year's legislative language. In doing so, the Senate overcame an impasse and approved the legislation by a vote of 84 to 14. "This innovative move by Senate leadership to overcome the challenges of what would have been a long, grueling and time consuming floor debate is a victory for the nation, especially farm families and rural America," said Dittrich.

"As the debate on energy moves forward in the U.S. Congress, we believe one of the goals of energy independence should be to promote the production of renewable domestic fuels," said Dittrich. "We believe an extraordinary opportunity is at hand to increase energy independence, reduce oil imports, improve our environment and stimulate rural economies."

The establishment of an RFS will capitalize on the nation's growing bio-fuel industry, expanding the use of these domestic, "home-grown" fuels to 5 billion gallons per year by 2012. A similar provision was included in the energy bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. ACGA is recommending the adoption of the Senate RFS language in conference as the better of the two versions.

"ACGA fully understands that the initiatives in this bill will greatly benefit America's farm families," said Dittrich. "Requirements for a portion of the nation's motor fuel to come from domestic, renewable bio-based sources will make this nation less dependent on imported oil and will give additional market opportunities and flexibility to farmers of corn, soybeans, and other crops."

The American Corn Growers Association represents 14,000 members in 35 states. See http://www.acga.org .