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July 19, 2008


To be fair, doesn’t the man at the top deserve some credit (or maybe in John Adams’ mind the blame.) Although the discussion of cellulosic ethanol has been around for a long time, would you not agree that many Americans never paid any attention to it until Republican President George W. Bush in his 2006 State of the Union address promoted it as part of the solution? In fact, wasn’t it the same George Bush that proposed a mandate ? Didn’t President’s Bush’s Twenty in Ten Initiative have as a goal of making cellulosic ethanol cost-competitive with gasoline by 2012 and, along with increased automobile fuel efficiency, reduce America’s gasoline consumption by 20 percent in ten years ?

But don’t we really need to go back to before Bush started promoting it, and to the Energy Policy Act of 2005 which was written by Republicans. It passed the House with the support of Rep. Gutknecht, Kline, Kennedy and Ramstad … in fact only 22 Republicans objected. In the Senate, Norm Coleman voted for it (maybe Mr. Adams is a John McCain man, if so, he should be aware that McCain voted against it.)

We may not need to go as far as Wyoming to see biofuels in production. Broin Companies of Sioux Falls, South Dakota,(now known as POET) was awarded a grant of up to $80 million as one of the first recipients of the DOE funding.
The plant is in Emmetsburg Iowa, and after expansion, it will produce 125 million gallons of ethanol per year, of which roughly 25 percent will be cellulosic ethanol. Construction hasn't started yet, but the plant tentatively could open in 2011 and would buy and use corncobs from an estimated 400 farms surrounding Emmetsburg. They want Iowa to issue bonds to help fund the expansion but the state is balking … maybe some Minnesota Congressman should see if one POET's other facilities in Minnesota could be used instead (Lake Crystal, Glenville which is about 10 miles from Albert Lea, Bingham Lake, or Preston.)

Now, I wonder who Mr. Adams voted for in previous elections and will he hold it against Coleman in November.

Ollie Ox replies: Since Adams was claiming that "not one barrel" had been produced, I mainly wrote about facilities that were already in production. The Emmetsburg project isn't alone.

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