The Obama administration embarked on a National Rural Tour this week that will include discussions about green jobs, a new energy economy, climate change and renewable energies.
During an interview for the National Association of Farm Broadcasting with Michelle Rook of WNAX, Yankton, SD, Obama was asked about the role renewable fuels will play in the future for rural America. “Obviously, I come from a farm state – Illinois – and ethanol has been a big boon for a lot of rural communities,” the president said. “But we also are recognizing the key for us is to move into the next generation of biofuels, how can we use wood chips and refuse and switchgrass and how can we improve the efficiency of first generation biofuels. Farmers are going to be critical to that entire process.”
“We want to be able to compete with countries like Brazil that now are running basically their entire automobile fleet on biofuels,” he continued. “If Brazil can do it, there’s no reason why America can’t do it.”
Obama also commented on the climate change bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last week, saying that the legislation provides “a whole host of opportunities for rural communities to profit even as they are helping to achieve America’s energy independence.”
The first stop on the administration’s rural road trip was in Wattsburg, Pennsylvania on Wednesday where the topic was rural broadband service. Future dates where energy will be the focus include July 18 in Ringgold, Virginia; August 12 in Bethel, Arkansas; and August 16 in Zanesville, Ohio.
Listen to Obama’s ethanol and climate bill comments here: