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Kind Proposes Stronger Bio-based Energy Policy

Location: Washington, DC

Benefits of Biofuel: Lower Gas Prices, Energy Independence; Economic Growth;
Opportunity for Wisconsin Farmers

Washington, DC - At a roundtable with area farmers today at the West Salem Farmers'
Cooperative, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) proposed a greater role for bio-based energy and the
Wisconsin farm industry to help address rising fuel costs and reduce America's growing dependence on foreign oil. Kind, who has long advocated for a stronger bio-based national energy policy, announced proposals to generate alternative energy production and infrastructure development, stimulate the biofuel industry, and reduce petroleum consumption.

"I believe it is time our nation commits itself to kicking the fossil fuel import habit by replacing Middle East oil with Midwest grain and other ‘home grown' renewable alternatives, such as ethanol and biodiesel," stated Rep. Kind. "Our country's agricultural fields are an untapped resource with the potential to fuel the future. We have the resources and the interest right here in Wisconsin to help move us closer to energy independence, a goal which will benefit consumers, farmers, business, rural economies and the environment."

At the foundation of Kind's energy strategy is a greater emphasis on developing renewable energy sources and encouraging the use of alternative fuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel. In addition to supporting measures that invest in renewable energy technologies and infrastructure, Kind is a cosponsor of legislation to further develop the market for alternative fuels by providing tax credits to E-85 and hybrid fuel users and expanding incentives for producers and purchasers of clean vehicles. Kind also backs legislation establishing a timeline for increasing the America's ethanol supply, requiring that 10% of the nation's fuel be comprised of ethanol by 2015.

"In his State of the Union Address, President Bush stressed America's need to break its ‘addiction to oil'- a welcome change from his previous position in defense of our oil habits," Kind said. "But unless we take bold measures to adopt a new energy strategy that weans us off of foreign oil, that addiction only gets stronger. It's time to kick the oil habit and adopt a responsible policy that utilizes renewable energy sources and biofuel alternatives to achieve greater energy savings, a cleaner environment, and a stronger rural America."

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