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Major Biofuels Bill Worries Hoosier Pork Producers

by 5m Editor
30 March 2007, at 2:17pm

US - Major new biofuels legislation was unveiled in Washington this week that would dramatically increase the nation’s demand for and use of ethanol made from corn.

This worries Indiana livestock producers, already nervous about the skyrocketing price of corn. The bipartisan bill sponsored by Senate Energy Committee Chair, Jeff Bingaman, and top Republican Pete Domenici, would vastly expand the 2005 Energy Act and establishes a new Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS).

Bingaman says the new proposal would blend two RFS standards, “We’ve got one fuel standard that contemplates increased use of corn…for ethanol, we have an advanced biofuels standard that begins in 2016, that contemplates advanced biofuels, such as cellulosic ethanol, made from things other than corn. We have a separate number for that…you add the two together, and it gets us to 36 billion gallons per year by 2022.” The bill starts with a 8-point-5 billion gallons RFS next year.

The Bingaman-Domenici formula relies heavily on ethanol from non-edible cellulosic plant matter, and Bingaman uses a ceiling for corn ethanol that the industry, itself, claims is achievable. “There is not a lot of technological challenge to reaching the 15-billion gallons from corn…the technological challenge is in producing the remainder of the amount that we have in here, from cellulosic sources,” he said.

The new bill adds 3-billion gallons a year in cellulosic ethanol above the 15-billion of corn ethanol to be reached in 2015, but it also allows the President to waive the added increase if the cellulosic technology is not available.

Source: HoosierAgToday

5m Editor