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Iowa's Harkin Applauds 25x25 Action Plan

Senator says committee has set aggressive but achievable goal for energy independence.

U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, last week congratulated the 25x'25 National Steering Committee on the development of its 25x'25 Action Plan: Charting America's Energy Future. "This implementation plan outlines the committee's recommendations for specific steps needed to put our nation on the path to achieve the 25x'25 goal," says Harkin.

By the year 2025, America's farms, ranches and forests will provide 25% of the total energy consumed in the United States, while continuing to produce safe, abundant and affordable food, feed and fiber.

"The convergence of agricultural and forestry production capabilities to meet national energy needs should be a major driver of the 2007 farm bill. Energy security is tied to national security and also means income and economic opportunity for agriculture and rural America," said Harkin. "If we are to attain national energy and economic security for our nation, we must reach these aggressive but achievable energy goals."

Energy will be key part of new farm bill

"I commend the 25x'25 Steering Committee for putting for putting forth this action plan today," Harkin continued. "The very broad consensus support for this implementation plan the 25x'25 team has garnered make these recommendations especially important for consideration in the development of new energy policies by Congress."

Initiatives promoting farm-based renewable energy will be a paramount focus of the new farm bill for Harkin. In his role as chairman, Harkin called the first hearing of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry of the 110th Congress to explore agriculture and rural America's role in enhancing national energy security. Harkin has also led efforts in Congress to increase availability of renewable energy like ethanol and biodiesel.

On the first day of the new Congress, Harkin was joined by his colleagues Richard Lugar, R-In., Joseph Biden Jr.,D-Del., Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and Barack Obama, D-Ill. in introducing The BioFuels Security Act (S. 23). That legislation, if it becomes law, will increase production of biofuels and American drivers' access to ethanol at fuel pumps.

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