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“Champions of Change” discuss renewable energy future with President Obama today


Mike Bowman, a member of the National 25x'25 Alliance's Steering Committee, and other White House "Champions of Change" met today with President Obama to discuss renewable energy development and policy and to celebrate the program’s one-year anniversary.

The Champions of Change program was created as part of the president's "Winning the Future" initiative. Each week, a different sector is highlighted and groups of "champions" (including educators, entrepreneurs and community leaders) are recognized for the work they are doing to serve their communities.

A wheat, corn and alfalfa producer from Wray, Colo., Bowman is one of the founding members of the 25x'25 Alliance. In a letter presented to the president on behalf of 25x'25, Bowman commends Obama for his "leadership in encouraging bipartisan support for an 'all of the above' energy policy platform.” This includes speeding the development and deployment of clean energy solutions from American farms, ranches and forests.

The letter urges President Obama to continue to oppose efforts to reopen and modify the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). This is a critical driver of biofuel markets, the Alliance notes.

The letter asks the president to allow U.S. agriculture to help the auto industry meet new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards through the use of cleaner, higher octane biofuels, including E30, rather than "aromatics, which include highly carcinogenic petroleum-based compounds such as benzene, toluene and xylene.”

By approving the use of intermediate level ethanol blends, such as E30, to meet the automakers' need for clean, higher octane fuel in the pending CAFE rulemaking, "thousands of lives and billions of dollars in public health expenditures could be saved annually through reductions in fine particle air pollution," Bowman's letter says.

In addition, the letter asks the president to

·         Support direct federal outlays to incentivize establishment of energy crops and construction of biorefineries

·         Provide accelerated depreciation to biorefiners who help farmers and foresters produce bioenergy feedstocks (e.g., perennial grasses, crop residues or short rotation woody biomass crops)

To view a copy of Bowman's 25x'25 letter to President Obama, click here.


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