Bush calls for increased use of biodiesel, alternative fuels

WASHINGTON – U.S. President George Bush wants to make America less dependent on foreign oil supplies by increasing the use of renewable and alternative fuels. In his State of the Union speech, the President called for an enhanced Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) that would include biodiesel and other alternative fuels.

“It’s in our vital interest to diversify America’s energy supply,” Bush said. His strategy includes and expanded use of clean diesel vehicles and biodiesel fuel.

The President also asked Congress to join him in pursuing the goal of reducing U.S. gasoline usage by 20 percent in the next ten years – or “Twenty In Ten.”

“To reach this goal, we must increase the supply of alternative fuels by setting a mandatory fuel standard to require 35 billion gallons of renewable and alternative fuels in 2017, and that is nearly five times the current target,” he said.

The RFS, established by the President and Congress in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, has contributed to the recent growth of renewable fuels. Under the current law, fuel blenders must use 7.5 billion gallons of renewable fuels annually by 2012.

The President’s plan, released by the White House, also calls for reforming and increasing fuel economy standards, and for the U.S. Department of Transportation to work with states and cities to explore ways to reduce traffic congestion, help save fuel, and reduce commute times.

“We are glad to see that the President’s Twenty in Ten plan includes strong steps toward renewable energy, energy conservation and diversification, and carbon reduction,” said Joe Jobe, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board. “We hope Congress will work with the Administration in a bipartisan way to enact this kind of bold new energy policy for the good of all Americans.”

The biodiesel industry’s top legislative priorities for 2007 include extension of tax credit provisions for biodiesel, which have been very effective in helping biodiesel use triple in a year’s time.

“America’s on the verge of technological breakthroughs that will enable us to live our lives less dependent on oil,” Bush said. “And these technologies will help us be better stewards of the environment, and they will help us to confront the serious challenge of global climate change.”

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