Provinces onboard for biofuels

Regina, Canada (GLOBE-Net) – The provincial and federal governments will work together to require the use of ethanol in Canadian gasoline, Environment Minister Rona Ambrose said Tuesday following a meeting in Regina with provincial ministers.

She was on hand along with Minister of Agriculture Chuck Strahl, Minister of Natural Resources Gary Lunn, and their federal and territorial counterparts to discuss the government’s commitment to enact a renewable fuels standard.

While no concrete strategy emerged, a framework for achieving a minimum five ent renewable fuel content by 2010 will be worked out this summer, said Ambrose.

“I would suggest we have a successful will to move forward,” she said at a news conference.

“Five per cent is ambitious. It’s not very far away, but we know it is reachable, it’s achievable and we will make sure that, when we put forward our framework, all regions of Canada have an opportunity to participate,” added Ambrose.

Enacting a five percent standard would require more than twelve times the amount of ethanol and biodiesel that the country currently produces. Canada currently lags behind world leaders in use of biofuels, with ethanol making up just 0.7% of gasoline sold in the country.

See related article “Canada’s Biofuels Future”

Minister Ambrose said a plan would include incentives to bring more ethanol production online, but didn’t provide details. Canada has funded ethanol plants in the past, including a demonstration facility for cellulose ethanol pioneer Iogen.

Agriculture advocates in Saskatchewan and elsewhere hope that ethanol in particular can help to increase farmer’s incomes and stabilize commodity prices. Saskatchewan would like to see a standard higher than five percent, said provincial officials.

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