A major boost of ethanol proposed by Bush

Your comments are welcome if you are for or even against the proposed Ethanol mandates made by President Bush.

During tonight’s state of the union address, President George W. Bush will make a proposal requiring automotive users to use 35 billion gallons of ethanol and other alternative fuels by 2017 in the State of the Union Address tonight, a major move that could shake up the entire U.S. agriculture and energy industry.

That is almost seven times the amount of ethanol made from corn in 2006. Most of the ethanol difference would have to come from sources of plant cellulose, inedible material, yearly grasses and wood chips.

The bid of 35 billion gallons is almost five times the amount of ethanol that refiners are required to use by 2012.

It is a "very ambitious goal, but we think it’s achievable," said Joel Kaplan, the White House’s chief of staff for policy.

He said that the White House would ask for more funding for research and development in 2008 and also expected the 2007 farm bill to provide additional funds needed to create a cellulosic ethanol industry.

"It is a big goal," said Jon Doggett, a lobbyist for the National Corn Growers Association, "but it also has some time for us to hit that."

He and a lobbyist for the Renewable Fuels Association were invited to the White House for a press briefing where officials spoke to the news media on the president’s speech.

The mandate would displace nearly 15 percent of projected yearly gasoline usage in 2017.

The government could waive the mandate if officials decide that it is necessary.

Other fuels also would also be eligible for the mandate. Fuels include methanol and butanol, other forms of alcohol based fuels, and also hydrogen and biodiesel.

Bush is also proposing to increase the standards for fuel economy to save 8.5 billion gallons of gas by 2017. That would displace about 5 percent in the projected gasoline usage.

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