Bredesen: Switchgrass, Not Corn, Will Make State Ethanol Leader

Burns, Tenn. (AP) -- Governor Bredesen told farmers, environmentalists and business executives Thursday that Tennessee is poised to become a national leader in developing alternative fuels.

Speaking at Montgomery Bell State Park, the governor said switchgrass and not corn should lead the way.

Bredesen said at the first governor's conference on biofuels that corn is currently the more common source of fuel-grade ethanol but is only a "temporary fix" to the nation's energy problems.

The governor touted the economic and environmental benefits of investing in alternative energy, specifically in cellulosic ethanol like that derived from switchgrass.

Both corn and cellulosic materials like switchgrass can be used to produce ethanol, but cellulosic ethanol is more energy-efficient and may someday be less expensive to produce. Cellulosic ethanol also can be produced from a wider variety of crops.

(Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)


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