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2005 Policy Positions
of the Southern Legislative Conference

1.  POLICY POSITION IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION TO PROMOTE THE USE AND PRODUCTION OF BIOFUELS


BACKGROUND

Biomass fuels are the world’s oldest renewable energy sources, and probably the most diverse.  Conversion of biomass into energy and fuel ranges from anaerobic digesters used for gas production to the 150 MW electricity generating plant due to come on stream in Ohio in 2006.  Burgeoning global demand for petroleum has resulted in increased prices impacting our international trade deficit and challenging our economic growth.  Increased use of home- grown biofuels for everything from filling our car tank to generating electricity offers the promise of economic development and increased energy security. 

States are leading the way in the utilization of biofuels. Minnesota, Hawaii and Montana have legislation requiring ethanol use; a new bill in Indiana requires increased biodiesel use in state vehicles; and New Jersey links consumers to renewable energy sources. 

The Governors’ Ethanol Coalition has recently issued a report detailing recommendations for America’s 21st Century Transportation Fuel.  While this report is directed toward increasing the utilization of ethanol, it identifies that in order to meet the growing need for transportation fuel in this country, it is important to begin the move toward the production of at least 10 percent of our transportation fuel from biomass derived products. 

While states will continue to support the transition to greater use of renewable energy sources, it is important that the nation has a strong, long term energy policy that provides for significant increases in applied research and production incentives, while supporting a variety of power generation sources.

RECOMMENDATION

The Southern Legislative Conference of The Council of State Governments urges solidarity among state officials in reducing our nation’s dependency on foreign fuel and urges support to organizations working on behalf of the states in regard to renewable energy issues.

Further, copies of this policy position shall be forwarded to members of the United States House and Senate committees working on the “Energy Policy Act of 2005.”  In addition, copies will be forwarded to members of the Governors’ Ethanol Coalition, state legislative committees related to energy and economic development and other pertinent state officials. 

 

 Adopted by the Southern Legislative Conference, August 2, 2005, Mobile, Alabama

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