Washington, D.C. June 5, 2003 — Ethanol Across America representatives today hailed the vote of the United States Senate to include a 5 billion gallon annual ethanol program in national energy legislation.

U.S. Senator Ben Nelson, Co-Chairman of the Ethanol Across America education campaign, called the vote historic. "With 68 Senators supporting this initiative, we are sending a clear signal that the U.S. is serious about reducing imported oil and creating jobs. We have seen the benefits ethanol provides in our rural areas. We have seen the benefits ethanol provides in reducing pollution in urban areas. The Renewable Fuels Standard will indeed pave the way for ethanol across all of America," said Senator Nelson.

The RFS was a leadership amendment to the Senate Energy Bill introduced by Majority Leader Bill Frist and Minority Leader Tom Daschle. During several days of debate, the Senate overwhelmingly rejected numerous attempts to weaken the program or otherwise reduce its impact.

The RFS was a carefully crafted agreement among the ethanol, agriculture, and petroleum industries that will maintain current Clean Air Act requirements but create flexibility in the use of renewable fuels like ethanol and biodiesel. It will gradually increase the use of these fuels over the next decade.

With the amendment now included in the overall Energy Bill, supporters are hopeful that the legislation can be passed in the Senate and go to conference with the House. Ethanol Across America spokesman Douglas Durante noted that with the House having passed their Energy Bill, and having included a Renewable Fuels standard, the prospects for ultimate passage are very high

"It is not a question of "if" we are going to do this. An overwhelming majority of Congress, along with the Bush Administration are behind this initiative," said Durante. "The timing of Ethanol Across America could not be better as we help educate and inform the public about the many benefits of this program."


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