President Obama today released his administration’s Blueprint for A Secure Energy Future that outlines the comprehensive national energy policy.
“In an economy that relies on oil, rising prices at the pump affect everybody – workers and farmers; truck drivers and restaurant owners,” said the president during a speech in Georgetown. “The only way for America’s energy supply to be truly secure is by permanently reducing our dependence on oil.”
As alternatives to oil, Obama voiced support for both natural gas and biofuels, “not just ethanol, but biofuels made from things like switchgrass, wood chips, and biomass.”
“That’s why we’re investing in things like fueling stations and research into the next generation of biofuels,” he said. “Over the next two years, we’ll help entrepreneurs break ground on four next-generation biorefineries – each with a capacity of more than 20 million gallons per year. And going forward, we should look for ways to reform biofuels incentives to make sure they meet today’s challenges and save taxpayers money.” Obama also urged the expansion of alternative vehicles in the federal fleet and announced that he is directing agencies to purchase 100% alternative fuel, hybrid, or electric vehicles by 2015.
The ethanol industry was pleased with the president’s comments. “America’s ethanol industry stands ready to work with the Obama Administration and Congress to transform current biofuel policies to reflect the evolving nature of the industry and the fiscal concerns voiced by many on Capitol Hill,” said Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “That means we must think outside the box when it comes to incentivizing the use of ethanol, expanding the market for ethanol, and accelerating the commercialization of advanced ethanol technologies.”
“President Obama deserves credit for identifying both short and long term solutions to reducing our nation’s dependence on foreign oil by encouraging the increased use of ethanol and next generation biofuels. He particularly recognized the role of America’s farmers in the production of corn ethanol today and next-generation biofuels in the future. Ethanol is part of the solution, whether that ethanol comes from grain or cellulosic biomass,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy.
The president also encouraged the increased use of other clean energy sources, including wind and solar and encouraged Congress to maintain critical investments in clean energy. “At a moment like this, sacrificing these investments would weaken our energy security and make us more dependent on oil, not less,” he said.