Washington, DC—Senate Democrats held a press conference today to discuss how the farm bill – the Food and Energy Security Act of 2007 – promotes renewable energy, providing the framework to realize agriculture’s potential and enhance rural communities’ abilities to supply energy to our nation. Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, joined the Senators.
“This energy title will help farmers and rural communities across the country to join a major transition in which our agricultural sector supplies clean biofuels and renewable energy for all of America,” said Senator Tom Harkin, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. “It makes investments in America’s energy security and it builds on the first-ever energy title included in The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002.”
Said Senator Kent Conrad: “As gas prices skyrocket and unrest in the Middle East continues, pressure mounts to make our nation less dependent on foreign oil. More than 60 percent of the oil consumed in this country is imported, from some of the most unstable regions in the world. We need to turn from the oil fields of the Mid East to the farm fields of the Midwest to meet America’s energy demands. This Farm Bill points America in the right direction.”
“The 2007 Farm Bill includes an energy title that opens a new chapter of opportunity for rural America,” Senator Ken Salazar said. “It helps farmers and ranchers grow fuels that will bolster our energy independence and it is a win-win for our rural communities in need of economic development and for our consumers who want cleaner, lower-cost energy. If the President truly wants to join us to help revitalize rural America while reducing our dependence on foreign oil, he will reconsider his veto threat.”
Said Senator Amy Klobuchar: “As the price of oil looms at $100 a barrel, the pocketbooks of middle-class American families need the relief we can provide through homegrown, renewable energy. Investing in the workers and farmers of the Midwest like we have in this farm bill is good for the environment and good for our economy.”
“The U.S. ethanol industry is in the midst of a remarkable evolution,” said Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association. “New technologies are improving production efficiencies and introducing new feedstocks, such as switchgrass, corn stalks and wood waste, into the ethanol production process. By choosing to invest in the nation’s developing biofuels industry, members of Congress are helping to ensure that the energy security, economic and environmental promises of a robust and diverse U.S. ethanol industry come to pass.”