Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Ben Nelson (D-NE) yesterday introduced S. 36, the Biofuels Innovation Program (BIP). Below is what conservation, renewable energy, and agriculture groups are saying:

"On behalf of the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), I applaud Senator Thune for developing a forward-thinking initiative that takes a balanced and sustainable approach to provide land owners with the financial and technical means to plant, harvest, store, and transport biomass feedstocks for ethanol production. I encourage Members of Congress to include an innovative program such as this in the 2007 Farm Bill. While important gains are being made in the cellulosic ethanol production process, it is critically important to place an equal amount of focus on the feedstock side of the equation. The Biofuels Innovation Program attends to the fundamentals of establishing, growing, harvesting, and transporting the cellulosic feedstocks necessary for this new generation of ethanol."
- Brian Jennings, Executive Vice President, American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE)

"Biofuels represent a big part of our energy future, and this bill represents a groundbreaking new direction. Native grasses, trees, and other plants have the potential to double energy yields per acre, with just a fraction of the energy needed to produced corn-based ethanol. As these new technologies come on line, they will be key to our future clean energy production. The use of these fuels will also help stem global warming by decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and storing carbon. We salute Sen. Thune and Sen. Nelson for their vision and commitment to moving our nation towards a new energy future that will benefit both wildlife and farmers."
- Larry Schweiger, President and CEO, National Wildlife Federation

"Our entire country should be encouraged that our elected officials are proposing legislation such as this to stimulate the research, development and production of cellulosic ethanol. The Biofuels Innovation Program represents the kind of visionary leadership we need and should receive broad, bipartisan support from Congress. By directing funding to the producers who will grow all biomass crops or provide the corn stover and other crop residues directly to biofuels facilities, this bill will support the cellulosic ethanol industry while it is still in its infancy."
- Jeff Fox, Vice President Legal and Government Affairs, POET

"Senator Thune's Biofuels Innovation Program is a logical first step to ensure that American agriculture is getting the kind of assistance it needs to responsibly produce as well as deliver cellulosic ethanol feedstocks to market. The U.S. ethanol industry looks forward to working with forward-thinking leaders such as Senator Thune to wrest control of America's energy future away from foreign governments and big oil companies and into the hands of innovative, hard working Americans."
- Bob Dinneen, President and CEO, Renewable Fuels Association

"The South Dakota wheat industry is very interested in biomass energy and cellulose ethanol. We believe the Biofuels Innovation Program introduced by Senator Thune is an excellent start of a vision that will benefit the nation by properly using more of our natural resources for energy. The Biofuels Innovation Program focuses on proper conservation practices in a specified area and allows for the planting, harvesting, and transportation logistics to be included in the planning process of establishing cellulose ethanol plants. Thank you, Senator Thune for your leadership!"
- Rick Vallery, Executive Director, South Dakota Wheat, Inc.

"Senator Thune's legislation is an important step in making cellulosic ethanol a reality by ensuring an adequate feedstock base. We appreciate his continued support of the ethanol industry."

- Bill Honnef, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing-VeraSun Energy Corporation