19 Jun Doyle urges Legislature to support biofuels program
DeForest, Wis. – In an effort to revive Legislative support for his biofuels program, Gov. Jim Doyle took aim at Republican skeptics, suggesting that GOP lawmakers are paying lip service to energy independence and turning their backs on state farmers, manufacturers, and entrepreneurs.
Doyle, in his most pointed remarks to date, said every county in the state has more than 100,000 tons of biomass resources and would benefit from a the bio-industry.
“This should not be about political parties,” he said during a visit to Sanimax Energy, a DeForest biodiesel facility. “This is about our country’s future and Wisconsin ‘s future.”
Republicans on the Joint Committee on Finance have blocked Doyle’s proposal to direct more than $30 million over the next two years to entrepreneurs and companies developing renewable technologies.
The action comes amid increasing skepticism about segments of the biofuels industry, particularly corn-based ethanol and its impact on food prices. Citing free market principles, Republicans also have objected to the Doyle Administration’s efforts to mandate the availability of ethanol.
Citing U.S. Department of Energy estimates, Doyle said Wisconsin could replace more than 13 million tons of coal if it converted the state’s 15 million tons of biomass into energy. Sources of biomass include byproducts from corn and other crops, waste from food and beverage processing, pulp remnants from the paper and lumber industries, and switchgrass and other forest products.
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