Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation
Agricultural News and Information
Greg Gibson, Coordinator
Public Relations / Multimedia
1-800-227-8244 ext. 4154
by David Waide, President
Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation
The Call for a National Energy Goal
This summer the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives each took
steps to lessen our nation’s dependence on foreign oil. They voted
to strengthen the economy and improve the environment through passage
of energy legislation that will increase efficiency, expand biofuels production,
and provide funds for research and development. In addition, the House
provided tax incentives to spur greater production of renewable energy.
These measures represent primary building blocks for a new energy future;
but until a final energy bill is agreed upon, and signed into law by the
President, America’s energy future is still questionable.
A critical first step on the path to a new energy future is to clearly
define what that future should be. Over the past two years, a diverse
group of agricultural, environmental, and business leaders, including
top auto executives have been working to do just that, and have articulated
a signal goal of securing 25 percent of the nation’s energy needs
for renewable forms of energy by the year 2025. Twenty-six governors,
eleven state legislatures, including the Mississippi Legislature, and
over 100 members of Congress have endorsed the group’s 25 x ’25
renewable energy goal. This is a goal Americans can support, and more
importantly, it is achievable.
A 25 x’ 25 new energy future dramatically reduces our dependence
on foreign sources of oil cutting imports by 2.5 million barrels a day.
Meeting the 25 x ‘25 goal will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by
as much as 1 billion tons annually – two thirds of the projected
emissions growth by 2025. A 25 x ‘25 energy future will strengthen
the national economy, create new jobs and provide new revenue streams
for a large sector of the country – rural America – one that
is struggling to remain viable.
A recent University of Tennessee study has shown a 25 x ‘25 energy
future will yield major economic benefits for Mississippi. The study revealed
that a 25 percent renewable energy platform would increase net farm income
in the state by $1.04 billion, provide a whopping $11.4 billion annual
boost to the gross national product and generate 92,000 new good paying
The U.S. Senate recognized the importance of a renewable energy future
by unanimously adopting the 25 x ‘25 goal. Support in the House
for the 25 x ‘25 energy future continues to grow. The House Agriculture
Committee has adopted the resolution backing 25 x ‘25, and the measure
currently has the bipartisan support of more than 70 co-sponsors.
Early next month Congress will finalize energy legislation by reconciling
differences between the Senate and House bills. The 25 x ‘25 goal
should be a part of the final bill that emerges and is sent to the President
for signature. Without a unifying goal, the end result could well be a
mixture of energy proposals that don’t take us where we need to
go as quickly as we need to get there.
Mississippi’s congressional delegation can help lead our nation
to a clean, safe and affordable energy future by insuring that a 25 percent
renewable energy goal is included in the final energy bill that is passed
by Congress this fall. Mississippi has much to gain from a new energy
future and it’s time for all our elected officials in Washington
to show the way forward by defining it as 25 x ‘25.
Farm Bureau Federation is the state's largest general farm
organization with more than 230,000 member-families statewide. There
are Farm Bureaus in all 82 counties in Mississippi
where agriculture comprises a fundamental part of
Mississippi 's economy.
Headquartered in Jackson
, the federation is an independent, non-profit agricultural
organization and is not associated with any arm of the government.
For more information about Farm Bureau, visit our website at www.msfb.com.