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NCGA: ETHANOL'S FATE TO BE DECIDED BY MID SUMMER

 SAN ANTONIO, Texas, Feb. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The next six to eight months will decide if ethanol lives up to its potential and becomes a key component of the nation's efforts to fight urban air pollution, according to Eric Vaughn of the Renewable Fuels Association.
 Vaughn said he could not predict if the final regulations governing ethanol would favor the corn-based fuel, but one thing is certain. The oil industry will spare no energy to protect its market share, he said, and the nation's corn producers must follow this example.
 Vaughn, Al Grosboll, as adviser to Illinois Governor Jim Edgar, and Barbara Charnes of Coloradans for Clean Air critiqued efforts to position ethanol in the Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) and made recommendations on strategies to bring a speedy resolution to the issue. The panel discussion at the National Corn Growers Association's (NCGA) 35th Annual Corn Classic entitled "The Road Ahead for Ethanol and the Clean Air Act" was characterized by a sense of urgency to resolve the issue.
 "The on-again, off-again nature of the ethanol regulatory process is hurting the expansion of the ethanol industry. This means jobs are being held up. Jobs in construction, jobs in ethanol production and jobs are a key part of this issue in Illinois," according to Grosboll.
 However, jobs are only a small part of the national political debate surrounding ethanol. The environmental benefits of ethanol and the renewable nature of the fuel are crucial to carving out its niche, Vaughn and Grosboll agreed.
 Individual citizens must become involved in the process if ethanol is to get fair treatment and equal access to the market, Charnes said.
 Ethanol would never have survived to become a major part of that state's clean air strategy if private citizens had not become involved. Oil lobbyists are numerous and powerful, but voters can win if they let their voice be heard, she said.
 "The oil industry has 27 full-time lobbyists working on the alternative fuels agenda in Washington, so corn growers need to tackle this head on. Stay active and keep yourself involved," Vaughn said.
 The panel, moderated by TV personality Kathleen Sullivan, agreed that Vice President Al Gore will be key to deciding the issue. Letters from corn producers and more research documenting ethanol's environmental benefits needs to be sent to Gore.
 "Don't get lost because of the complexity of the issue. The reality is...there is a good product here. Keep writing to your Congressman, keep pressure on the president and support your Corn Grower organization because they have been effective," said Al Grosboll, adviser to Illinois Governor Jim Edgar.
 NCGA is a national commodity association with more than 27,700 members in 47 states and 24 affiliated states.
 -0- 2/23/92
 /CONTACT: Debbie Rudin or Robin Johnston, 314-275-9915, both of NCGA/


CO: National Corn Growers Association; Renewable Fuels Association ST: Texas IN: OIL SU:

TM -- NY099 -- 7570 02/23/93 18:16 EST
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Date:Feb 23, 1993
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