Speeches By EPA Administrator
Executive Bio Energy Order08/12/1999
|Executive Bio Energy Order|
August 12, 1999
A new century is just 141 days away. And with it comes new energy and manufacturing challenges that this Administration is preparing to meet through the increased use of biomass technologies.
This coordinated biomass strategy will create cleaner fuels, environmentally-friendly products, new markets for American farmers and new technologies and opportunities for both small and large businesses.
They will also give all our families cleaner air to breathe by reducing the emission of gases like carbon dioxide, sulfur, nitrogen, mercury and other greenhouse gases.
And on top of all this we will lower our dependence on imported oil.
Simply put, this is a win/win situation. With this sort of an opportunity at hand, we owe it to the generations who will live in the next century to lay this new foundation that will guarantee them both economic prosperity and environmental health.
Let's look at fuel first.
With today's executive order, this Administration is ensuring that Americans will have both an abundance of energy -- and cleaner energy -- to fuel our cars, power our industries and heat and light our homes.
By moving towards fuels produced by renewable biomass, we are recognizing that not all our energy needs lie under the earth in wells and mines. Our farmland and forests can produce supertankers worth of cleaner-burning fuels.
Consider this: By the year 2020, it is estimated that ethanol produced from biomass could replace 348 million barrels of imported oil. That means American farmers will have produced the equivalent of 158 supertankers worth of energy.
Perhaps in the years to come, farmers might measure their output in barrels rather than bushels.
This new energy is coming from new technologies that can use the entire corn plant -- not just the kernel -- to produce fuel. Other plants, like switchgrass, can also be used.
Besides creating new markets for our farmers, these new energy industries will also provide thousands of new jobs as well as new opportunities for both large and small businesses.
But to make this work, we need to create partnerships between the power industry and the agricultural sector. Farmers need to know there's a market for these kinds of biomass crops. And the power industry needs to know it will have a reliable supply.
We are also working to develop more bioproducts that will blend with the environment -- not embattle it.
For instance, petroleum-based plastics now take up about one quarter of landfills in the United States. Biodegradable packing peanuts, packaging foam and plastic cutlery are just a few of the new products that promise to help free up this space.
Starch-based adhesives can replace industrial adhesives, glues and coating. And that will help eliminate formaldehyde emissions.
Paints and coatings formulated with soybean, lesquerella or Chinese melon oils can reduce or eliminate volatile organic compound emissions.
Hydraulic oils formulated from soybean oil can dramatically reduce the impacts of oil pollution.
As I said earlier this is a win/win situation.
This Clinton/Gore Administration has shown time and time again that a healthy economy and a healthy environment are goals in concert -- not conflict.
And with today's announcement -- which is further recognition of Vice President Gore's decade-old vision of finding common-sense solutions to our environmental challenges -- this Administration lays the foundation for both the economy and the environment to continue to flourish together in century to come.
It is now my pleasure to introduce Senator Lugar, who is leading the bipartisan effort in Congress for the first-ever biomass legislation.