“The administration supports the renewable fuels provisions and, in particular, supports the renewable fuels program adopted as part of an amendment to S. 14,” said Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham in a letter to Sen. Pete Dominici, R-N.M., chairman of the House-Senate energy bill conference committee.

“This provision will increase the use of clean, domestically produced renewable fuels, like ethanol and biodiesel, which will improve the nation’s energy security, farm economy and environment.”

Abraham’s letter was hailed by National Corn Growers’ Association leaders, who have been lobbying conference members to pass an expanded energy bill that would encourage greater use of corn-based ethanol for the country’s energy needs.

“The administration is pleased that a majority of the provisions of the President’s National Energy Policy are included in either the House or Senate versions of H.R. 6 (the House companion to S. 14),” Abraham said in the letter. “Conferees have an opportunity to pass a balanced, comprehensive energy bill that improves the nation’s energy and economic security, creates jobs and benefits consumers.”

Mark Palmer, NCGA director of public policy, said the Energy secretary’s letter mirror’s the message NCGA has championed for more than two years, supporting a comprehensive energy bill that contains a renewable fuel standard.

“The Secretary’s message regarding the administration’s support of H.R. 6 should go a long way in encouraging conferees to make the right decision,” he said.

Palmer noted that through the Legislative Action Center at www.ncga.com, NCGA has provided a tool for corn growers to personally urge energy bill conferees to pass the energy bill with the RFS.

“Time and again, our leaders on Capitol Hill tell us they pay close attention to messages sent by their constituents,” Palmer said. “I encourage corn growers and other ethanol supporters to make a difference by sending their own letters to conferees.”

Domenici is leading the Senate representatives on the conference committee and is the overall chairman while Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-La., is the leader of House representatives to the committee. Tauzin reportedly prefers expanded exploration for oil, including drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to providing more incentives for renewable fuel production.

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