Bioenergy

Three Governors Join Governors’ Ethanol Coalition

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius announced that Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, and Maryland Gov. Robert Erhlich are the newest additions to the 35-member Governors’ Ethanol Coalition. “We are not surprised by the level of interest shown by the nation’s governors in the Governors’ Ethanol Coalition,” Gov. Sebelius said. “Typically, it is the nation’s governors who are usually first to address the nation’s substantive concerns.”

The Governors’ Ethanol Coalition works to promote ethanol market expansion across the nation, and includes the governors of 35 states and representatives from five nations. Gov. Sebelius is the current chair of the Coalition, and Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman serves as vice chair. “Within the past year, many have concluded that the near-term solution to the nation’s imported oil dependency lies with ethanol,” Sebelius said. “That’s why ethanol production records are being set monthly, and new ethanol refineries are being constructed at a pace never before seen.” “The fact that we’re seeing new interest among our colleagues is an indication of ethanol’s growing status as a national fuel,” said Gov. Heineman. “Ethanol has the potential to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, while providing quality jobs and opportunities for economic development. It’s encouraging to see other states joining the discussion on the future of this home-grown fuel.” The Coalition’s report released last year, Ethanol from Biomass: America’s 21st Century Transportation Fuel, called for the creation of three national policy recommendations: a renewable fuels standard with a cellulosic component; increased ethanol research and development; and incentives for cellulosic derived ethanol production. All three recommendations were incorporated into the Energy Policy Act of 2005, passed by Congress and signed into law by the President.