Outlook Puts Biofuels in Focus

Cindy Zimmerman

Biofuels had a seat on the plenary panel entitled, “Getting It Right: Responding to Market Forces” at USDA’s 2008 Outlook Forum last week.

USDA Outlook DinneenRenewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen noted that while ethanol is “not a silver bullet” for all of America’s energy, economic and environmental issues, but “biofuels are absolutely a part of addressing each of them to some extent.”

Dinneen talked about how ethanol production has revitalized rural economies and offset the increased gasoline demand over the past few years. “We have stemmed the tide of increased gasoline imports into this country,” he said.

USDA Outlook 2008And he talked about cellulosic ethanol. “We recognize that in order to grow our industry we need to move beyond grain,” and Dinneen says it is already happening.

Other panelists were Paul Schickler of DuPont/Pioneer Hi-Bred, C. Larry Pope of Smithfield Foods and Tom Stenzel with United Fresh Produce Association. The entire webcast of the panel is posted on USDA’s website.

There was also a panel on new sources for biofuels, focusing on biodiesel and featuring presentations from the National Biodiesel Board and Agriculture Blue Sun Biodiesel. (The links will take you to their presentations.)

And a panel focusing specifically on sustainability of ethanol with presenters including Dr. Mark Stowers of POET and Rick Tolman of National Corn Growers Association.

And that was just the first day. The second day saw panels on wind, solar, biomass and more. Most presentations are available on USDA’s site.

Biodiesel, corn, Ethanol, News, RFA