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ACGA asks Congress to retain Renewable Fuel Standard

(June 17, 2002 -- CropChoice news) -- The following is from an American Corn Growers Association press release.

The American Corn Growers Association (ACGA) today joined with a coalition of over a dozen other farm, rural and environmental organizations to call on the U.S. Congress to retain the Renewable Fuel Standard recently passed by the Senate in The Energy Policy Act of 2002.

"The Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) contained in the Senate energy bill would ensure that renewable fuels such as ethanol, from both starch and cellulose, and biodiesel provide part of our nation's fuel supply, gradually growing to 5 billion gallons by 2012," according to Keith Dittrich, President of ACGA and a corn farmer from Tilden, Neb. "By establishing domestic renewable sources of energy, we will improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gases, diversify and increase our fuel supply, and promote investment and job creation in rural communities."

On Tuesday, April 23, the Senate overwhelmingly approved the inclusion of the RFS by a vote of 69 to 30. Enactment of the RFS will more than double the demand for ethanol, thus creating almost a billion bushels of new corn demand. In the next few weeks, conferees from both houses of Congress will meet to negotiate the differences between the House and Senate versions of the energy bill. In a letter to those conferees, ACGA and the coalition expressed their strong support for the RFS provisions.

"ACGA fully understands that the initiatives in this bill will greatly benefit America's farm families," concluded Dittrich. "Requirements for a portion of the nation's motor fuel to come from renewable bio-based sources will give additional market opportunities and flexibility to farmers of corn, soybeans, and other crops. This measure will diversify and decentralize America's energy production, help move our country toward energy independence, provide jobs and economic stability to rural communities, and add new revenue sources for farmers."

In addition to ACGA, the letter to the energy bill conferees included the signatures of National Farmers Union, American Farm Bureau Federation, National Farmers Organization, Women Involved in Farm Economics, American Agriculture Movement of Arkansas, American Bioenergy Association, American Coalition for Ethanol, Clean Fuels Development Coalition, Environmental and Energy Study group, National Biodiesel Board, National Grain Sorghum Producers, and Renewable Fuels Association.