HENNING,IL.- Today Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn helped kick off the 50th anniversary of the largest farm show in the nation – the 2003 Farm Progress Show – by promoting greater use of soy-biodiesel and outlining his All-American Energy Initiative.
“The time is ripe for farmers across Illinois to jump on the soy-biodiesel bandwagon and adopt renewable home-grown energy sources,” Quinn said on the opening day of the agricultural show that attracted more than 300,000 people over the three-day period.
“The recent catastrophic blackout on the East Coast should alert all of us to the importance of home-grown renewable energy, whether it’s generated by soybeans, corn, the sun or the wind,” said Quinn who was recently appointed by Governor Rod R. Blagojevich as Chairman of the “Special Task Force on the Condition and Future of Illinois’ Energy Infrastructure” in the wake of the power outage that wreaked havoc in the northeast on August 14.
Quinn encouraged the embracing of All-American energy sources, and said he believes the Farm Progress Show – which features extensive agribusiness information; state-of-the-art technology; and the latest equipment, products and services for agricultural producers – is the ideal setting to discuss the use of clean-burning fuel.
“Developing All-American renewable fuel such as soy-biodiesel fuel, wind power and solar power creates jobs for Illinois workers in emerging technologies and provides new sources of state and local tax revenues,” Quinn said.
In addition, Quinn commended school districts and businesses for using soy-biodiesel in place of traditional fossil fuels for their fleet of vehicles. Commonwealth Edison (ComEd), the electric utility that provides service to 70 percent of Illinois’ population, was recognized for their more than 2,000 vehicles that now use soy-biodiesel. This switch is expected to cut air emissions by more than 290 tons each year.
“I encourage other businesses to follow ComEd’s example and use alternative home-grown energy so that we can be on the road to independence from foreign potentates, support our agricultural economy in Illinois and decrease pollution levels,” said Quinn.
Soy-biodiesel reduces lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 80 percent and creates no sulfur dioxide. It is non-toxic, biodegradable, has no costly or time-consuming conversion process, allows for longer equipment life and lower maintenance costs, reduces air toxins by 90 percent, and reduces emissions that can cause asthma and cancer.
Joining Quinn was representatives from ComEd, soybean farmers, and school board members and Future Farmers of America (FFA) students from school districts that use soy-biodiesel in their busses.
“Anyone with a fleet should consider soy-biodiesel,” said Quinn, “It’s just one of the many applications for soybeans grown right here in the Midwest.”