Ten years ago, the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center was established through federal and state initiatives to advance the biofuels industry and create new energy opportunities for consumers. The Illinois Corn Growers Association and Illinois Corn marketing Board were a vital partner in establishing this world-class facility.
Since that time, the research has resulted in dramatic strides in the efficiency of ethanol and has pioneered the development of cellulosic and advanced biofuels. More than 50 technologies that have passed through our doors are now in the commercial marketplace due to our partnerships with the private sector.
NCERC director John Caupert made the following statement earlier this week regarding the work of NCERC and the “Biofuels Development Act,” legislation being considered in Congress. IL Corn stands in support of this legislation.
“This legislation leverages our region's existing resources – our transportation network, the most fertile farmland in the nation, a skilled workforce, and more than a century of combined biofuels expertise at our Center.
The impact on Scott Air Force Base, the Metro East, Southern Illinois and our nation as a whole cannot be understated. This is an opportunity that will bring economic stimulus and good-paying jobs to the area. My industry has already created more than 400,000 jobs for American workers. This bill will bring those opportunities right here by providing work for researchers, farmers, construction workers, educators, and a host of supporting jobs.
Farmers have proven they are more than capable of feeding and fueling a growing world, we want to continue to give them that opportunity. We will be taking agricultural products, including cropland residue, and converting it into the fuel that powers a fleet of aircraft. And best of all, every drop of homegrown fuel is one less drop imported from countries that are less than friendly to our nation's interests.”