The 25x'25 Alliance lobbies Congress on behalf of the producers of agricultural and forestry feedstock producers in the United States. Its purpose is to explore agriculture and forestry’s role in helping the nation meet its energy needs. After canvasing the opinions of hundreds of producers and dozens of agricultural associations it formulated a target:
By the year 2025, America’s farms, ranches and forests will provide 25 percent of the total energy consumed in the United States from renewable sources, while continuing to produce safe, abundant and affordable supplies of food, feed, and fiber. This goal will be met by producing bio-based fuels for transportation, harnessing wind energy, capturing and converting sunlight into energy, converting agricultural wastes and by-products into energy sources, and growing biomass for energy production.
It has a rapidly growing number of members ranging from the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union to the Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Defense. The 25x’25 vision has been endorsed by the “Big 3” U.S. automobile manufacturers, Deere & Company, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, and the National Wildlife Federation. Others include the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Renewable Fuels Association, the National Biodiesel Board and the Biotechnology Industry Organization.
Below is some of the testimony provided to the Sentate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry on January 10, 2007.
Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry
Hearing on Agriculture and Rural America's Role in Enhancing National Energy Security
Testimony of J. READ SMITH, STEERING COMMITTEE CO-CHAIR, 25X’25 RENEWABLE ENERGY ALLIANCE
We represent a diverse collection of endorsing partners,
Our vision is a food, feed, fiber and fuel vision. With emerging technologies and appropriate policies, agriculture can produce multiple commodities. In 2005, we tested this vision with leaders representing all aspects of production agriculture and forestry. Their response was overwhelmingly positive. By the end of the year, we had secured endorsements from nearly 80 national and regional entities.
Forest residues, mill wastes and small-diameter trees from thinning forests to reduce the risk of forest fires comprise the woody biomass feedstocks evaluated in the study. The nation has over 400 million acres of privately owned forest land, with over 40 million of these acres in plantation forests. This forest resource could provide additional woody feedstocks. A follow-up study focusing on these specific feedstocks is planned.
We recognize that our partners in animal agriculture are experiencing significant price increases in many of their primary feedstocks. Even as demand for ethanol increases, the corn yield curve is increasing at an accelerated rate, due to advances in biotechnology and improved cropping practices. There are strong indications that as corn demand continues to increase, because of ethanol production, some acreage may be shifted in the short term to corn and away from other crops. Accelerated research and development is needed to help address the concerns of the livestock sector, particularly relative to the use of distiller grains and other challenges.
In the coming weeks, as you once again take up Farm Bill legislation, we urge you to ensure that the Energy Title is structured and funded commensurate with the challenge and opportunity facing the nation and our farmers, ranchers and forest land managers. In February we will be releasing the 25x’25 Implementation Plan, and we look forward to sharing these recommendations with you and the Members of this Committee.
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