The American polical news is full of coverage of what Nancy Pelosi is doing in the U.S. House of Representatives during her first 100 hours and what President Bush now thinks we should do in Iraq, but the governors of many U.S. states aren't about to let all of the media spotlight go elsewhere. Yesterday, the 37 governors, the members of the Governors' Ethanol Coalition, released a report on ethanol, Ethanol from Biomass: How to Get to a Biofuels Future, and called for the amount of ethanol used in America to almost double by 2010.
The Governors' report asks the President and Congress to pass a series of recommendations that include:
  • "Expand the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) to include a short-term target of 12 billion gallons a year of ethanol and biodiesel utilization by 2010, and longer-term British thermal unit-based targets of 15 percent of total motor fuels consumption by 2015 and 25 percent by 2025, with equal incremental steps provided for each year in between;
  • Assign a financial value to the RFS cellulosic ethanol 2.5:1 trading credit into a more practical credit.
  • Establish a timetable for delivering 85% ethanol/15% gasoline infrastructure on a regional basis within five years.
  • Provide adequate funding for the Energy Policy Act of 2005 authorized biofuel research, demonstration and incentive programs."
I'm not convinced RFS (also known as RPS) policies is the way to go, but the Coalition is saying there will be some pretty dramatic positive changes if these policies are adapted. America would need to import $52 billion less worth of oil each year, there would be $110 billion a year in "direct economic activity each year with an annual impact of $368 billion on the nation's economy," and we'd have 2.4 million new jobs. All this by producing an estimated 60 billion gallons of ethanol a year.

[Source: Governors' Ethanol Coalition]

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