A renewable fuels standard (RFS) of which 15 billion gallons comes from corn, inched closer to law today, creating a solid foundation for grain-derived ethanol to continue to flourish, according to the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA).

The bipartisan house passage Tuesday of the Energy Independence and Security Act is the last stop before the president’s desk. The measure includes a 36-billion-gallon RFS by 2022.

“We are ecstatic that a robust energy bill is finally within reach,” says NCGA President Ron Litterer. “The passage of this historic bill is a major step toward energy independence. We eagerly await the president signing this legislation into law.”

NCGA thanks the House leadership for their diligence and dedication in passing this vital national energy security legislation. “We are grateful to the many renewable fuels champions of the House who made this legislative victory possible,” Litterer adds.

Corn growers nationwide have been vocal in advocating for an energy bill. “The National Corn Growers Association put out a national call to its members to contact their congressional leadership and they responded in a big way,” Litterer says. Growers contacted members of Congress, wrote letters, sent e-mails, attended town hall meetings and made Capitol Hill visits. Their diligence has truly paid off.”

Other provisions in the bill include:
• Requirement of 9 billion gallons of renewable fuels in 2008, progressively increasing to the 36-billion-gallon requirement by 2022, including a 1-billion-gallon mandate for biodiesel.
• Increases in the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards to 35 miles/gal. by 2020, the first congressional increase in 32 years.
• Studies on the feasibility of ethanol pipelines, higher blend levels and the optimization of flex fuel vehicles.

NCGA is hopeful that the president will sign the bill into law by Christmas.