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Beyond corn Oklahoma positions other alternative fuel sources

As Oklahoma continues to research and develop its alternative fuel sources and production, the Governor of Oklahoma will host GROW: the Governor's Conference on Biofuels, October 16-17, 2007 in Oklahoma City.

"Switchgrass and other native Oklahoma prairie grasses show great potential for alternative fuels and can offset some of the downside of corn," said Brad Henry, Governor of the State of Oklahoma. "Studies show the U.S. will need many renewable products besides corn to create transportation fuels to replace a portion of imported petroleum."

Oklahoma is uniquely positioned to help meet that need. Switchgrass and other varieties of perennial prairie grasses, which grow naturally in Oklahoma, are relatively drought resistant, require modest amounts of energy-intensive fertilizers and regenerate yearly. In comparison, corn requires annual replanting, large amounts of water and energy-intensive fertilizers. For these reasons, the conversion of switchgrass to fuel can be far more energy efficient than the conversion of corn to fuel.

In addition, farmers, ranchers and American consumers are concerned that using corn as an alternative fuel source drives up food and animal feed prices.

James Woolsey, former director of the CIA, will be a keynote speaker at the Governor's Conference on Biofuels, addressing the relationship between national security and the development of alternative transportation fuels. Other topics will include the growth in the U.S. biofuels industry, current and emerging research and development initiatives and Oklahoma's emerging biorefining sector.

Registration is $45. For more information or registration, visit www.GrowOK.com or call 1-800-203-5494. The Oklahoma Governor's Conference on Biofuels is presented by the Office of the Secretary of Energy, State of Oklahoma, in collaboration with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture and the Office of the Secretary of Environment, State of Oklahoma.

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