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Grassroots Voice: August is the Time to Talk to Your Senators
by Brian Jennings

In advance of a historic vote, ACE grassroots advocates made timely phone calls and sent persuasive e-mails to key undecided Members of Congress, encouraging their support for the hard-fought international land use change (ILUC) “fix” added to the House Climate Change Bill.

Thank you to ACE members who took the time to contact their Member of Congress – you helped make the difference on a bill that passed by just seven votes.

The ILUC fix discontinues deforestation carbon penalties on corn ethanol while an independent body studies the issue for five years. After study is completed, EPA, DOE, and USDA would have to make a joint determination to accept or reject the study, and Congress gets one year to act.

Earlier this year ACE testified before Congress that the predictions from the ILUC models are not corroborated by on-the-ground data and argued that Congress should insist upon more scientific scrutiny before allowing EPA to charge forward.

ACE is grateful to Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson for his leadership on this issue. He worked with House Energy Committee Chairman Waxman and Speaker of the House Pelosi to ensure that biofuels were treated fairly in the climate bill. When Representatives from rural Minnesota, San Francisco, and Beverly Hills agree on ILUC and biofuels, it sends an incredibly strong signal that the politics were getting ahead of science on this issue.

Correcting this problem in the House bill was huge, but our work is not yet done. The climate bill now moves to the Senate, and the month of August is a great opportunity for ACE members to call for a fix to ILUC because your Senators will return home for the August recess.

The Senate is 15-20 votes shy of enacting the climate bill. Many undecided Senators hail from ethanol states, and Senate leaders want to win over the support of these ethanol state Senators.

As a result, ACE members are in the perfect position to call, write, or meet face-to-face with your Senators or their staff during the August recess to urge that the following issues be addressed in the climate bill:

1. Fix international land use change. If ILUC cannot be eliminated altogether in the Senate bill, ask for the same study included in the House bill.

2. Establish meaningful incentives for blender pumps. We need the infrastructure to dispense mid-level ethanol blends and E85.

While you’re at it, please add a third item to your August recess to-do list; ask your Senators to contact the Obama administration in support of E15.

Your grassroots advocacy truly makes a difference – thank you for contacting your Senators today.

 
© American Coalition for Ethanol, all rights reserved.
The American Coalition for Ethanol publishes Ethanol Today magazine each month to cover the biofuels industryís hot topics, including cellulosic ethanol, E85, corn ethanol, food versus fuel, ethanolís carbon footprint, E10, E15, and mid-range ethanol blends.
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