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Senate Energy Bill Increases Fuels from the Farm

DENVER>>Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU) President Kent Peppler commended the Senate for passing an energy bill that will allow America’s farmers and ranchers to play a significant role in reducing our dependence on foreign oil. Most notably, the Senate energy bill expands the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) to 36 billion gallons by 2022.

“Fuels from the farm and ranch are bright spots for rural America,” said Peppler, also a farmer from Mead, Colo. “Renewable fuels have revitalized once-struggling rural communities by creating economic opportunities for family farmers, ranchers and rural Americans. We commend the Senate for their support in follow-up to the leadership the House of Representatives demonstrated last week and urge the President to sign this legislation before the end of the year.”

RMFU has been a long-time advocate for creation and expansion of a national RFS. The original standard, passed in 2005, has been positive for rural communities. The establishment of an ethanol plant increases local economic activities, creates as many as 650 new, permanent jobs per community and generates additional farm and ranch income.

Additionally, because of public policies that encourage local ownership, ethanol production is the only sector in agriculture that has seen a reduced level of concentration.

“America’s farmers and ranchers have been providing a safe, affordable, abundant food supply for more than 200 years and are ready, willing and able to provide clean, renewable fuels from the farm in addition to the food supply,” said Peppler. “We are disappointed an extension of renewable tax incentives such as the production tax credit (PTC) for wind and a national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) were not part of the final energy bill. I remain hopeful that Congress will address these provisions in 2008. These programs will provide even greater benefit to the rural west.”