Ethanol and biodiesel are biomass fuels which have proven to be excellent sources of renewable energy. Ethanol fuels and biodiesel contribute to a clean and safe environment through major reductions in vehicle exhaust emissions. We support requirements for the use of biomass fuels and fuel additives in areas that exceed the 1990 federal Clean Air Act standards.
We strongly support the continued production of biomass products such as ethanol and other biobased fuels and products. We support efforts to encourage biomass fuel production facilities in Michigan in areas of available feedstock production and co-product utilization. We applaud the popular increase in the interest level of ethanol and biodiesel and realize the positive impact to Michigan’s grain farmers. At the same time, we caution the entire agricultural industry to fully understand the economic impact to our livestock production. We urge that balanced economic decisions be made as we work to expand alternative energy options. A level playing field is important if all segments of agriculture are to succeed and prosper. Research and development should be encouraged through tax and cost-share incentives to find ways to reduce the cost of production of biomass products, expand feedstocks, co-product utilization (including those from food processors), and expand the application of technologies such as anaerobic digestion, fermentation, distillation, burning of organic materials (pyrolysis) and hydrogasification. We support research on the use of 100 percent biomass fuels for some vehicles, as well as blending biomass fuels with petroleum-based fuels.
We commend the state of Michigan for including biomass fueled vehicles in the state motor pool fleet and we encourage expansion of this program. We strongly urge all state-owned diesel and E-85 (85 percent ethanol, 15 percent gasoline) flexible fueled vehicles be stationed within a reasonable distance of a renewable fuel source (ethanol or biodiesel) and use that fuel.
We support efforts to encourage expanded production and use of biomass fuels and bio-based products in Michigan. Such actions could include: