Stupak addresses bio-fuel plant opening
WASHINGTON, D. C. -- Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) spoke at the Aug. 18 opening of a bio-fuel plant in Gladstone, Michigan. The facility, which is being opened by AG Solutions Inc., is expected to produce more than 20 million gallons of biodiesel fuel per year from agriculture projects. The facility is the first biodiesel plant in Michigan, adding to the five existing ethanol producing plants that are already operating in the state. Speaking alongside Governor Jennifer Granholm (D-MI), Stupak used the event to call for a new direction in U.S. energy policy.
"We simply cannot drill our way to energy independence," Stupak said. "We need a new direction for America's energy policy. This plant is an example of the type of innovation that will help break America's foreign oil addiction, while bringing new jobs to places like northern Michigan."
Stupak said that he has been working in Washington to support laws and policies that foster innovation and development of alternative energy use. As a
member of the U.S. House of Representatives' Energy and Commerce Committee, Stupak was one of a handful of key legislators involved in crafting the Energy Policy Act, the 2005 energy bill that Congress passed.
"We worked hard to include a renewable fuels standard that requires the production of 7.5 billion gallons of ethanol and biodiesel fuel by 2012," Stupak said. "This facility will help accomplish our goal of diversifying America's energy needs."
Stupak said that other countries have demonstrated the promise of alternative energies.
"In Brazil today, seventy percent of the vehicles can run on ethanol derived from sugar cane," Stupak continued. "If Brazil can accomplish that, imagine what our country can do with a little old-fashioned, American ingenuity."
Stupak singled out the efforts of Governor Granholm in promoting renewable fuels in Michigan.
"Under her leadership, the state is partnering with business to make ethanol more widely available throughout Michigan," Stupak said. "The Governor has also spearheaded retail-level tax reductions on gasoline that contains ethanol and biodiesel blends."
Stupak also praised the local entrepreneur, Richard VandeVusse, for launching the plant.
"In Washington and in Lansing, it is our job to provide entrepreneurs with the incentives and with an environment conducive to investing in biofuels and in alternative fuel production," Stupak said. "However, it takes entrepreneurs to do the real work."
Stupak is a respected leader on energy and gas price issues in the Democratic Caucus. This spring, as gas prices reached record levels, Stupak was selected by Democratic leaders to deliver the Democratic radio response to President Bush on energy issues.
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