EPIC Indy Car Event in Chicago
Chicago Board of Trade
May 14, 2007
Thank you. It is a privilege to be here.
When Henry Ford, back in 1925, said that ethanol would be the fuel of
the future, he almost certainly didn’t think the future was 80 years away.
But here we are, just like the movie, “back to the future.”
It has happened at last -- and I don’t think Henry Ford, if he still keeps
up with auto racing, would be a bit surprised to look down and see 33
ethanol fueled cars at the start line in Indianapolis two weeks from now.
What the Indy Racing League is doing is important. The IRL is
rebranding ethanol as a premium fuel and that can only help. But this
also represents the mainstreaming of ethanol, which is happening faster
than most people outside the industry understand.
It’s not just ethanol, of course – it’s renewable energy across the board.
We’ve talked about renewables in the United States for over 30 years
but relatively little has happened. Until now. A few benchmarks:
Installed wind capacity has more than quadrupled in this country since
2000. We led the world in new capacity in 2005 and 2006.
Ethanol production in 2000 was 1.6 billion gallons. Capacity today is
over 6 billion gallons with another 6.4 billion under construction.
Ethanol today equals about 4% of U.S. gasoline use but it has supplied
over 30% of the growth in fuel usage since 2000.
We’re very rapidly building out toward E10 nationally, even before
cellulosic ethanol comes on line – and cellulosic ethanol will give us the
potential to supply a third or more of our needs.
Biodiesel production in 2000 was 2 million gallons. It was 245 million
gallons last year. USDA is projecting 375 million gallons for this year
rising to around 700 million by 2010.
These are incredible growth rates. They’ve obviously been pushed by
rising world oil prices. We have a clear economic incentive to diversify
away from oil.
The growth has also been pushed by Administration policy … Pres