Promoting the environmental benefits of renewable fuels is the focus of the new SmartWay Grow & Go program, recently launched by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Expanding the successful SmartWay Transport Partnership, SmartWay Grow & Go companies are encouraged to make commitments toward improving the environment through the use of renewable fuels.
"Through SmartWay Grow & Go, President Bush is moving the fuels of the future into the market today," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "By investing in technology that unlocks the energy from our domestic crops, EPA and our partners are bringing breakthroughs in renewable fuel from the labs to the streets."
The goal of the SmartWay Grow & Go program is to have 25 percent of EPA’s SmartWay Transport partners using renewable fuels by 2012, and 50 percent by 2020. There are currently 481 SmartWay Transport partners including major truck and rail carriers as well as shipping and logistics companies.
Leading SmartWay partners are already taking action. For example, H-E-B and Meijer are expanding the sale of renewable fuels at their retail pumps, while Coca-Cola Enterprises’ light and heavy duty fleets are expanding their use of ethanol and biodiesel as these fuels become more widely available.
Renewable fuels are available today and provide environmental benefits. Ethanol reduces emissions of pollutants such as carbon monoxide and benzene, a known human carcinogen, and biodiesel provides significant reductions in carbon monoxide, particulate matter and sulfates. Use of ethanol and biodiesel results in less greenhouse gas emissions relative to conventional gasoline.
In addition to the environmental benefits, the SmartWay Grow & Go program supports President Bush’s national energy initiative to increase domestic energy supplies, encourage efficiency and conservation, and develop alternative and renewable sources of energy. The growth of renewable fuels presents an important opportunity for rural America by providing new revenue and job opportunities. From bushels to barrels, farming communities will be helping to power our cars and protect the nation’s environment.
Since 2001, the Bush Administration has provided $10 billion to support the development of cleaner, cheaper and more reliable energy sources paving the way for significant advances. In addition, the President Bush’s Advanced Energy Initiative requests a 65 percent increase in research and development funding in FY2007 for biomass and biorefinery efforts moving the fuels of the future into the market today.