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American Corn Growers Association applauds Senate action on energy bill

(April 26, 2002 CropChoice news) -- The American Corn Growers Association (http://www.acga.org) today praised action by the United States Senate on The Energy Policy of 2002 (S.517). "We applaud the actions of the Senate this week for several reasons," said Keith Dittrich, President of ACGA and a corn farmer from Tilden, Neb. "We are especially pleased with both the vote to retain the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) for motor fuels and the extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for renewable energy. Our hats are off to Majority Leader Tom Daschle and all those who exhibited the leadership and initiative to include these two extremely important components in the bill."

On Tuesday, April 23, the Senate overwhelming approved the inclusion of the RFS by a vote of 69 to 30. Enactment of the RFS will more than double the demand for ethanol, thus creating almost a billion bushels of new corn demand. The extension of the wind power PTC for five years will assist in encouraging new farmer-owned wind development.

"Not only does this legislation increase the demand for renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel, but it also increases the incentives to produce and use renewable power sources such as wind," explained Dittrich. "We now need one more major component in the bill to make this all work -- we need the tax incentives included in the bill for the upgrade and expansion of electricity transmission. This key provision not only insures that rural America will have adequate and affordable power, but provides the 'farm-to-market road' we need to get our new crop, wind generated electricity, to market."

In addition to being one of the nation's long-time and leading proponents for bio-energy, ACGA also facilitates the "Wealth From the Wind Program," the only national agricultural program that encourages the expansion of wind projects.

"ACGA fully understands that the initiatives in this bill will greatly benefit America's farm families," concluded Dittrich. "Requirements for a portion of the nation's motor fuel to come from renewable bio-based sources will give additional market opportunities and flexibility to farmers of corn, soybeans, and other crops. Incentives to expand power generation from renewable sources will advance wind generation toward the forefront of energy production, open up increased diversification of farmland, and encourage the development of farmer-owned wind farms. These wind projects will add new revenue sources for farmers, provide jobs and economic stability to rural communities, diversify and decentralize America's energy production, and help move our country toward energy independence."