A number of the President's ideas were welcomed by the American Farm Bureau Federation. Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman said his group is pleased with the call for Congress to pass energy legislation including more production of renewable fuels and nuclear power. Growth Energy, National Sorghum Producers and the Renewable Fuels Association were also pleased to hear the President place a priority on the potential of renewable energies.
National Sorghum Producers was pleased with the President's mention of continued investment in advanced biofuels. They say it could further catapult the production of advanced biofuels - as a nod toward certain policies, technologies, crops and initiatives by the President has greatly increased notoriety and Congressional attention to those issues in the past. Sorghum qualifies as an advanced biofuel feedstock and NSP is working with Congress to ensure it stays that way so that producers are able to take full advantage of that qualification.
Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen says America's ethanol producers stand with the President ready to provide good paying jobs and economic opportunity in a cleaner, more sustainable manner. But to ensure the economic potential of biofuels and ethanol in particular are realized RFA says Congress and the Obama Administration should take a number of steps including among other things the approval of E15 and other higher level blends for use in all gasoline vehicles, extending the tax incentives for the use of ethanol from all feedstocks and partnering with industry to expand ethanol blending and dispensing infrastructure.
Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman also welcomed the call to export more of our agricultural goods and said his group strongly backs the President's commitment to opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development. But he maintains Farm Bureau cannot support climate change legislation in its current form.
However, ahead of the President's speech Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, suggested it's not what the President says - it's what he does. He said the Administration's focus was on things like government spending, government control of the financial system, energy and health care policies that mean more regulation and higher taxes during the last year. Looking ahead Grassley says bipartisanship needs to be established in the beginning of an initiative, and Congress and the White House need to listen to the grassroots. He says people are looking for a landscape that allows them to create jobs and build opportunities for the future, not a heavy hand from the government.