The National Corn Growers Association and National Farmers Union have expressed gratitude and support for new efforts by the USDA and the Obama Administration to expand the development and use of domestic renewable biofuels, including ethanol from corn. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a series of measures aimed at supporting the rural economy and reducing dependence on foreign oil.

“Because time is very short before the current Congress ends, we urge lawmakers to take the importance of this initiative to heart and move quickly,” said NCGA President Bart Schott, a corn grower from Kulm, N.D. He and other officers were present for Secretary Vilsack’s remarks. “While we support several broad efforts to extend the availability of higher blends, especially pressing is the extension of the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit and other tax provisions to help ensure that current ethanol goals are met predominantly with domestic sources.”

National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson issued the following statement regarding the USDA’s nationwide initiative to expand investment in biofuels infrastructure: “We are extremely pleased with today’s announced investment in flexible fuel and blender pumps, biorefineries, and research and development. This kind of investment by the Obama administration in biofuels infrastructure is exactly what is needed in order for the United States to realize sustained growth of biofuels. We strongly support Agriculture Secretary Vilsack’s goal of installing 10,000 flex fuel pumps throughout the U.S. in the next five years.
Regarding ethanol, Vilsack noted the important role of incentives. “Incentives helped build the biofuel industry and incentives need to continue,” Vilsack said. “Congress should start by reinstating the Biodiesel Production Tax Credit and providing a fiscally responsible short-term extension of the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit. At the same time, we need to begin to think about reforms to the ethanol credit program to make it more efficient and effective at addressing the full range of challenges we face in meeting our goals for traditional and next generation biofuels.”

Vilsack also stressed it was critical to expand the availability of higher blends of ethanol.

Source: NCGA, NFU