In his State of the Union address this week, President Bush called for the reduction of gasoline usage in the U.S. by 20% in the next 10 years. To accomplish this "20 In 10" program, Bush is asking for an increase in the supply of renewable and alternative fuels by setting a Mandatory Fuels Standard of 35 billion gals. in 2017.

He's also asking to reform and modernize the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards for cars and extension of the current light truck rule. According to the administration, this would reduce projected annual gasoline use by up to 8.5 billion gals. in 2017.

In addition, USDA Secretary Mike Johanns announced that USDA plans to propose $1.6 billion in new funding for renewable energy, with a focus on cellulosic energy research and production as part of USDA's 2007 farm bill proposal.

Johanns said, "It remains a priority across USDA to support the development of biofuels. We will continue to build on current programs and turn the corner on renewable energy."
-- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C., correspondent