New U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Energy Secretary-designee Steven Chu were hesitant to join the higher ethanol-blend bandwagon during their recent confirmation hearings, according to a report by Black Hills Pioneer in Spearfish, SD.
When South Dakota senators questioned Vilsack and Chu about their positions on approving higher ethanol blends for standard vehicles, the Pioneer said, both gave differing answers but stopped short of saying they would lead the way in making sure the use of higher blends like E15 or E20 are approved.
Vilsack, in particular, reiterated the need to move beyond corn for ethanol production to the use of advanced non-food feedstocks to produce cellulosic ethanol. The Pioneer also reported that Vilsack said that moving to E15 or E20 could be out of reach in the current energy bill, but said USDA would continue to play a role in providing research and other needs to develop advanced biofuels.
(Source: Black Hills Pioneer)