Washington DC – (March 21, 2007)(AgNewsWire) Indiana Senators Richard Lugar and Evan Bayh joined with members of the ethanol industry and the Team Ethanol IndyCar and driver outside the Senate Building on National Agriculture Day to mark the use of 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol in the IndyCar Series starting this weekend.
Representatives from the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC) and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) coordinated the event, which received a high level of media attention. EPIC Executive Director Tom Slunecka said several other lawmakers in addition to Sens. Lugar and Bayh attended the event as well.
“Lawmakers understand that ethanol is bringing a change in this country,” said Slunecka. “Our dependence on foreign oil is being reduced by the use of ethanol and they want to make sure that the momentum continues to grow so they turned out today to help show their support.”
According to Slunecka, increasing the visibility of ethanol by its use in the IndyCar Series has been a goal of many in the agriculture industry for years.
“All of the corn groups have been out promoting ethanol for some time,” Slunecka said. “We are standing on the shoulders of their work and it was because of their vision that we are able to do what we are doing today.”
The appearance of the Team Ethanol car on Capitol Hill Wednesday coincided with a House congressional hearing on global climate change featuring testimony by former Vice President Al Gore.
“Al Gore was helping people understand the importance of global climate change and what consumers can do, and ethanol is one of the easiest things that everyone can do,” said Slunecka. “By using a ten percent blend of ethanol you are reducing your tailpipe emissions by over 30 percent.”
EPIC board member Greg Krissek, Director of Government affairs for ethanol design firm ICM Inc, said increasing the use of the plant-based fuel is helping to reduce our country’s dependence on foreign oil, revitalize rural economies and address global environmental concerns.
“We’ve seen that ethanol used as an oxygenate in engines reduces the amount of pollution out the tailpipe,” Krissek explained. “But even more importantly, ethanol is a renewable resource reducing the amount of hydrocarbon fuels that we need to use.”