Albany, New York [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Gov. George E. Pataki announced he has accepted an invitation to join the Governors’ Ethanol Coalition, a bipartisan organization that is working to promote the development and use of ethanol-based fuels nationally and globally. Gov. Pataki is the first Northeast governor to join the coalition.“New York State is a national leader in the use of renewable energy, and we’re committed to finding new ways to diversify our energy supplies and increase our use of ethanol and other renewable fuels,” Gov. Pataki said. “We are now developing significant ethanol and biofuel industries here in the Empire State that will boost the production of clean, renewable, homegrown fuels and help to decrease our dependence on foreign energy sources. I am particularly interested in developing cellulosic ethanol, an effort being led by research institutions at SUNY-ESF and Cornell. As we continue these efforts, I look forward to sharing ideas and strategies with governors in the coalition and working together to build a brighter energy future for our State and nation.” The Governors’ Ethanol Coalition, chaired by Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, includes the governors of 31 states and representatives from five foreign nations. The coalition is committed to promoting the use of ethanol as a viable alternative fuel by: raising awareness and demonstrating the benefits of ethanol use; encouraging production, and research and development efforts; and making infrastructure investments to support the expansion of the ethanol market. The coalition supports the production of ethanol from corn or other domestic, renewable resources using sustainable agricultural methods. Earlier this year, the coalition released an initiative entitled “Ethanol from Biomass: America’s 21st Century Transportation Fuel,” which included recommendations to significantly expand ethanol supplies. Several of these initiatives were incorporated into the Energy Policy Act passed by Congress and signed into law by the President. Ethanol is a clean-burning, renewable, domestically produced product made from fermented agricultural products such as corn, grass or willow. Ethanol contains oxygen, which can promote more complete combustion of fuel. Ethanol use also can reduce carbon dioxide, a major contributor to global warming. The carbon dioxide that is produced is naturally recycled by the same crops that produce ethanol. Within the next year, up to three ethanol plants are expected to begin production in New York State, including Northeast Biofuels in Fulton, Oswego County. The Northeast Biofuels plant would be the largest ethanol plant in the Northeast, with a capacity to produce 100 million gallons annually. The Fulton biofuel site also will be home to a 5 million gallons/year biodiesel production facility built and operated by NextGen Fuel, Inc. of Potsdam, St. Lawrence County. These plants are important components of a comprehensive State energy strategy to increase the use of renewable energy, which will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create new market opportunities for farmers, and foster rural economic development.