The Three ‘F Words’ Repeated Again and Again
by Tim Rudnicki (Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association) Just a few days ago the National Conference of State Legislatures convened policymakers from across the country in Minneapolis. Several thousand legislators, legislative committee staffers and other interested observers of public policy development listened to presentations from a variety of subject matter experts on topics ranging from education to health care to energy to name just a few.
The purpose of the National Conference of State Legislatures is to create a venue in which policymakers can exchange ideas on some of the most pressing issues confronting states including on matters involving energy.
When it came to the issue of energy, however, the National Conference of State Legislatures fell flat in its efforts to stimulate the exchange of ideas about energy and, in particular, renewable energy such as biofuels. Based on the energy sessions I attended, the mantra was the three “F’s”: fossil fuels and fracking.
Although one keynote presenter acknowledged biofuels can play some role in meeting the need for liquid transportation fuels, a golden opportunity to make the case for biofuels was missed.
If a picture is worth 1000 words, the images in the NCSL’s glossy energy policy guide tells only part of the energy story. … But neither the text nor the photographs hint at a farm field or a biofuel plant. And there are not charts showing the dramatic decrease in the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from biofuels compared to petroleum.
Interestingly, one of the energy plan goals refers to developing energy independence. Unfortunately, while the suggested plan makes reference to decreasing a State’s dependence on foreign and out-of-state energy sources, the example cited to accomplish this goal is to use the natural gas resources rather than, for instance, other renewables such as corn starch or plant residue.
If I could make one suggestion to the NCSL, it would be this: let’s open up future discussions about planning for the energy future by affirmatively presenting the full scope of benefits offered by biofuels. READ MORE
2 New Type Ethanol Plants to Open in Iowa
(AP/AgriNews) A new era of ethanol fuel production will begin soon as Iowa refineries begin full operation using materials other than corn kernels.
Iowa has two major cellulosic plants under construction that will use corn plant leaves, stalks and cobs to make ethanol.
The first to go online is Project Liberty, a plant in Emmetsburg built by Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based ethanol-maker POET and Royal DSM, a biotechnology company based in the Netherlands.
A $225 million DuPont plant at Nevada, in central Iowa, will start production this fall and make 30 million gallons annually. READ MORE