25 Percent Energy Independent By 2025?

Groups looking to lessen the nation’s dependency on foreign fuels came together for the first Ohio Renewable Energy Summit. The initiative in consideration would reduce the nation’s foreign fuel dependency by a quarter in less than two decades.

It’s called the 25 by ’25 Initiative. And the goal is by the year 2025, 25 percent of the nation’s total energy consumption will come from US farms, ranches and forests. Bill Richards is co-chair of the national agriculture working group studying alternative fuels for this initiative. While corn has been at the forefront of ethanol fuel, Richards said other crops will be needed to meet consumer demands.

“Ethanol from new crops such as switch grass, ethanol from sugar cane, lots of things are in the future. Lots of things that will utilize land, our U.S. land in one way or another to produce that 25 percent of energy,” Richards said.

And when asked about a year of bad crops negatively affecting the alternative fuel supply, Richards denied that will be an issue.

“We’ll have the problem that we’ve always had with bad weather, droughts, etc. But the excess capacity that we’ve had in this country to produce food will carry over and we’ll develop more capacity,” Richards said.

The 25 by ’25 Initiative is working closely with the American Farm Bureau Federation, including the Ohio bureau. A spokesperson for the Ohio chapter said alternative fuels will reduce fuel cost for farmers and allow them to invest more money in their crops.

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