The U.S. agricultural industry is "strong and up to the challenge" to reduce Americaâ€™s dependence on foreign oil, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson told reporters.
Johnson gave the keynote address Tuesday to the General Session of the National Biodiesel Board's 2006 Biodiesel Conference & Expo, in San Diego, Ca. Johnson recognized the important role biodiesel can play in protecting the environment and helping to break Americaâ€™s addiction to foreign oil.
Johnsonâ€™s speech was his first in California since the Presidentâ€™s State of the Union address on January 31, in which Bush outlined his ambitious goal of replacing more than 75% of oil imports from the Middle East with alternative sources of energy by the year 2025.
Johnson also discussed the Presidentâ€™s Fiscal Year 2007 budget, released on February 6, which includes $50 million for clean diesel programs - a $38 million increase. It also provides $11 million for implementation of the Renewable Fuels Standard.
"American soybean farmers stand ready to respond to these new opportunities and fulfill the need for increased production of biodiesel," says American Soybean Association President Bob Metz.