Obama Stresses Support for Corn Ethanol

Cindy Zimmerman

President Barack Obama sent a letter this week to the Governor’s Biofuels Coalition supporting corn-based ethanol as the foundation for the next generation of biofuels.

“My administration is committed to moving as quickly as possible to commercialize an array of emerging cellulosic technologies so that tomorrow’s biofuels will be produced from sustainable biomass feedstocks and waste materials rather than corn,” Obama said in the letter. “But this transition will be successful only if the first-generation biofuels industry remains viable in the near term.”

Obama was responding to a letter sent to him by the coalition in February asking him to take steps to support biofuels and reduce our dependency on foreign oil. Those steps include establishing a task force to address biofuels’ greenhouse gas emissions and increase the blend percentage of ethanol in gasoline to at least 13 percent. Obama noted in his response that the letter from the governors was “helpful” in the development of his Presidential Biofuels Directive issued earlier this month.

Meanwhile, during his visit to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada yesterday, Obama talked up the promise of clean energy for creating green jobs in America.

“We have to lay a new foundation for prosperity — a foundation constructed on the pillars that will grow our economy and help America compete in the 21st century,” said Obama. “And a renewable energy revolution is one of those pillars. We know the cost of our oil addiction all too well. It’s the cost measured by the billions of dollars we send to nations with unstable or unfriendly regimes. We help to fund both sides of the war on terror because of our addiction to oil. It’s the cost of our vulnerability to the volatility of the oil markets.”

Ethanol, Government