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The Buzz

Following President's speech, ethanol pundits galore.

The ethanol backers were in full force just hours after President Bush's State of the Union address Jan. 23. The following statement from President Bush - "Let us build on the work we have done and reduce gasoline usage in the United States by 20% in the next 10 years - thereby cutting our total imports by the equivalent of 3/4 of all the oil we now import from the Middle East" - fueled a bunch of excitement in the renewable fuels industry.

The President committed to increasing renewable fuel production, including ethanol, biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol, from today's 7.5 billion gallons a year to 35 billion gallons annually in 10 years.

We were flooded with press releases and statements from everyone from the National Farmers Union, to Pioneer Hi-Bred, to the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council. A smattering of pro-ethanol statements follow:

  • "It remains a priority across USDA to support the development of biofuels. We will continue to build on current program and turn the corner on renewable energy." – Mike Johanns, secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture, in announcing a $1.6 billion investment in renewable fuels, with a focus on cellulosic energy, in the 2007 farm bill proposals
  • "Through corn yield increases, cellulosic production and ethanol production efficiencies, we will be able to double our per-acre ethanol output in 10 years." – Dean Oestreich, DuPont vice president and president of Pioneer Hi-Bred, International, Inc., describing Pioneer's efforts to improve ethanol production, including enhancing ethanol yield of grain, cellulosic ethanol from corn stover and next generation of biofuels, including biobutanol, which can be blended into gasoline at higher concentrations than can ethanol.
  • "If all consumers have the option to purchase a 10% ethanol blend by the end of 2009, the U.S. can anticipate offsetting the need for 14.5 billion gallons of gasoline." – EPIC, whose executive director, Tom Slunecka, encourages motorists to demand that their local supplier offer an ethanol blend.
  • "85% of American voters think that the government should be involved in the development of alternative fuels; 84% of voters think the government should provide incentives for the production of alternative fuels and 88% of voters believe that development of the domestic ethanol industry helps create jobs and is beneficial to the overall economy." – Winston Group poll conducted prior to the President's State of the Union speech
  • "For a long time, farmers have been advocating for a greater use of renewable energy. It is nice to see President Bush promoting policy we have long supported." – Tom Buis, president, National Farmers Union
  • "The key to achieving this clear national goal is the efficient production, distribution and marketing of these fuels." - James Peeples, senior vice president, NewGen Technologies, Inc., a new company that aims to manufacture and distribute biofuels and hydrocarbon blends
  • "I'm underwhelmed. While $1.5 billion over 10 years sounds like a big commitment, consider theat he also proposed spending roughly $32 billion to expand the Strategic Petroleum Reserve…over the same time period." – Tom Waterman, editor of The Ethanol Monitor, published by Oil Intelligence Link
  • Kansas ethanol manufacturers will do their part to meet ethanol demand. Last Friday (Jan. 26), groundbreaking for Kansas Ethanol, LLC, commenced. The 55 million gallon plant near Lyons is one of five under construction in Kansas. There are eight plants in production in Kansas, producing 225 million gallons of ethanol per year…
  • Also last week, Scoular Co., the Omaha-based grain trading company, announced plans to build a 100 million gallon per year ethanol plant near Holcomb, in conjunction with the Sunflower Integrated Bioeneergy Center. Construction on Gardenview BioEnergy will begin this fall and last 18 months, according to an article in The Hutchinson News…
  • The new ethanol facility will join several other plants that re-use and recycle waste material from other plants. Gardenview will join three 700-megawatt coal-fired power plants, an algae reactor, a biodiesel plant and an anaerobic digester…
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