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Foster Leads Delegation Encouraging White House To Support Renewable Energy

Jul 16, 2014
Press Release

White House meeting

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Bill Foster led a delegation of Illinois officials urging the White House to support renewable energy by maintaining renewable fuel requirements. The group included Representatives Bill Foster, Tammy Duckworth and Bill Enyart.  The group met with Dan Utech, Special Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, and James Stock of the Council of Economic Advisers, to discuss the Administration’s proposal to reduce the ethanol requirements in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard rule.

Also present at the meeting were two recognized experts on the economics and environmental impact of biofuels, Dr. Michael Wang from Argonne National Laboratory and Dr. Steffen Mueller of the University of Illinois at Chicago. 

“Our country must move away from its dependence on fossil fuels, toward a renewable energy economy, and ethanol is a critical component,” said Foster. “As a scientist and businessman, I believe that policy decisions should be based on the most accurate numbers, and recent analyses show that modern ethanol production is an important tool to preserve our environment and expand our economy.”

"Our country need to focus on an 'all of the above' energy strategy," said Enyart.  “Ethanol, together with clean energy technology, will produce a bright future for our environment and our economy.  Our country's farmers - including those in Southern Illinois - are committed to producing clean energy through corn production and renewable fuel opportunities."

“In Iraq, I saw my fellow Guardsmen and soldiers risk life and limb to maintain diesel fuel supply lines,” said Duckworth. “Energy is one of the most precious battlefield resources, but it is risky and expensive to deliver in combat zones. It is crucial that we develop renewable energy sources such as ethanol to not only grow our economy, but to strengthen our national security and support our troops.”

The Environmental Protection Agency, under a rule known as the Renewable Fuel Standard, requires transportation fuel to include renewable fuels, mostly ethanol. The original rule required the ethanol target to rise in the coming years. The Administration's latest proposal would reduce corn ethanol volumes by 1.4 billion gallons for 2014.

Ethanol is an important tool for reducing carbon dioxide emissions, as its usage reduces carbon dioxide emissions by an average of 34% compared to gasoline. In 2013, the use of ethanol reduced greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles by 38 million metric tons, which is the same as removing eight million cars from the road. ( )

Illinois produces 1.67 billion gallons of ethanol at 14 operating plants across the state.