During his Midwest bus tour this week, President Barack Obama is visiting three of the nation’s top four ethanol producing states, accounting for more than 42 percent of the country’s ethanol production.
The president’s first audience question today in Minnesota, the number four ethanol state, was “How are you going to use renewable energy to create jobs in the future?”
“One, obviously, is biofuels,” Obama responded. “And a lot of folks here are familiar with corn-based ethanol, but the fact of the matter is the technology is moving where we need to start taking advantage of a whole range of biofuels, using refuse, using stuff that we don’t use for food to create energy. And we are seeing incredible progress on that front, but it’s key to make sure that we continue to make the research and that we also use the incredible purchasing power of the federal government to encourage it.”
The president also noted progress in alternative fuels for aviation, as well as wind, solar and the next generation of electric vehicles. Read the entire transcript of his remarks and audience questions here on the White House website.
Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president and CEO Bob Dinneen posted an open letter to President Obama on the E-xchange Blog, encouraging him to embrace his “record of support for ethanol and other domestic renewable fuels” as he travels through the ethanol producing countryside. “Ethanol production is offering jobs that provide a good wage, good benefits, and the opportunity for rural Americans to stay in rural America or move back home,” wrote Dinneen. “Ethanol and the policies that have helped support it are providing benefits to Americans all across the country. American ethanol production is the most successful, efficient, and cost-effective renewable fuel source the world has ever known.”
After his stop in Minnesota Monday morning, Obama visited a farm in the number one ethanol producing state, Iowa. On Tuesday, the president is scheduled to visit Peosta, Iowa and he will travel to number three state Illinois for two stops in the northwest corner of the state on Wednesday.
By the way – the number two ethanol producing state is Nebraska. No stops are scheduled there.