Governors Urge Obama To Remove Barriers To Alternative Fuels

Feb 25 2009 | 9:09am ET

A coalition of governors – including several from Midwestern states hit by declines in the auto and manufacturing industries – are urging U.S. President Barack Obama to make it easier to develop alternative fuels.

In particular, the governors are pressing for the approval of 13% ethanol blends in gasoline and the promotion of wind energy. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) currently allows gasoline to contain 10% ethanol amid concerns that higher blends could corrode fuel lines and reduce the gas mileage of some vehicles.

Coalition chairman Governor John Hoeven of North Dakota says biofuels are helping transform communities, broaden the tax base and provide solid job growth.

“Help from the federal government in terms of fiscal support and policy leadership could revitalize this critical industry, create jobs, spur investment and strengthen the ability of biofuels to address the economic, energy and environmental challenges that face our nation,” said Governor Hoeven in a statement.

During a Washington press conference on Tuesday, the coalition urged President Obama to take specific actions to promote biofuels, including establishing an interagency task force on lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions and transportation fuels, involving the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy and the EPA.

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