November 6th, 2007
05:45 PM ET
10 years ago

Clinton says she'd boost biofuels, ethanol production

NEWTON, Iowa (CNN) – In a speech focused on energy and climate challenges, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said Tuesday she plans to "dramatically increase biofuels production" over the next two decades.

"Our nation’s dependence on foreign oil places our economy at risk, our security in jeopardy, and our planet in peril," Clinton said. "But I believe we can transform the way we use and produce energy – and create at least 5 million jobs in new green industries."

Clinton's plan would boost the production of fuels like corn-based ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, and biodiesel to 36 billion gallons by the year 2022 and 60 billion gallons by 2030.

The senator from New York said she would extend tax incentives for biofuel production and increase the number of flex-fuel vehicles on the roads.

In her speech, delivered in the central Iowa city of Newton, Clinton also encouraged energy conservation, adding that everyone should have the determination her father had on the issue.

"[He] would not leave a room without turning off all the lights," Clinton said.

"Each of us has to start asking ourselves what we can do."

- CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Iowa
soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. CK, Arlington, VA

    Moron. I just love it when lawyers think they're engineers, scientists and economists all rolled up in one. This follows a proclamation for CAFE of 55 mpg by 2030. Sounds good, Hillary, but you have no idea what you're talking about.

    November 6, 2007 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  2. john williams san diego, ca.

    you go hillary...i remember those days in the 50's when my dad as your dad said 'turn those lights out or we will be relying on biofuel'...i cannot believe that america believes ANYTHING you or Bubba says

    November 6, 2007 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  3. Jack Frost, Fort Smith, AR

    Great to know that Hillary is in the ranks of our vaunted celebrity scientists. Throw in Gore as VP and heck, who needs to actually know what they are talking about? The national political process has become a charade – Hillary isn't the reason, just a prominent illustration.

    November 6, 2007 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  4. Lee, Mays Landing NJ

    Ethanol is no solution.
    It is however a boon to big agri-business and will at best forstall a move we need to make away from normal engines while at the same time it will raise food prices which will impact the lower classes the worst.
    Hillary Clinton is easily better than any republican, but she is no solution either. Most of the republicans (except Ron Paul) and Ms Clinton will give us this happy talk about ethanol and other things but they won't clearly break far enough from the nonsense of the past few years.

    November 7, 2007 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  5. Anonymous

    You have voted for big oil and big oil lobbies time and time again Mrs. Clinton. Why all the sudden are you an eco warrior.

    At least Barack Obama has a great record with environmentalists. He's supported actual real legislation while you've hedged your bets in the sludge.

    November 7, 2007 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  6. AJ, Chicago IL

    Don't believe the hype or in Hillary's case double-talk. Look at her senate voting record when it comes to biofuels. What she is stating now is not consistent on how she has voted!

    November 7, 2007 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  7. Rick, Kansas City, MO

    Is there going to be enough corn leftover to feed our cattle, chickens, and other livestock?

    I wonder what this will do to the price of meat and other groceries, such as eggs and milk?

    I guess after the socialists get in power, they will enforce going vegan.

    No, wait....there won't be any corn to eat, either.

    November 7, 2007 04:25 am at 4:25 am |
  8. Mo, New York, New York

    Not sure what to believe. Senator Clinton is only now coming out in favor of ethanol having voted against ethanol legislation many times – just as things in Iowa are really heating up... offering carrots to the target constituency may be a smart way to win votes in the short run, but is it honest??

    November 7, 2007 04:40 am at 4:40 am |
  9. Charlie Siegchrist, Jericho VT

    Why not strip out farm subsidies ($165 B in the last decade) and import the ethanol from Brazil,where it is made 35% cheaper than from corn? At last a chance for farmers in the tropics to make a good and fair living, and the US politicians look to fatten subsidies here. Global peace comes with economic justice.

    November 7, 2007 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  10. Dan (Columbia, MD)

    This woman will say ANYTHING to get elected.

    Does anyone know what she really believes? Sometimes I doubt she even does.

    Ron Paul looks better every day.

    November 7, 2007 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  11. Neill C., Montgomery, Alabama

    Ethanol is almost as big a scam as "global warming is caused by humans". Ethanol is too freaking expensive to make. We need drilling in Anwar and off the coast of Florida or there won't be an America around for all of you whiny liberals to make "environment friendly".

    November 7, 2007 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  12. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    Yeah, and perhaps she can hire all the illegal immigrants that she so ardently supports to help put her plan into action. The corn has to get harvested by someone, right?

    November 7, 2007 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  13. HC, new york, ny

    News item: Hillary maintains her previous big lead over Hussein Obama and John Edwards after last Tuesday debate.

    PRINCETON, NJ - New USA Today/Gallup polling conducted this past weekend shows few signs that front-runner Sen. Hillary Clinton’s standing among Democrats nationally was affected by the recent Democratic candidate debate at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Clinton continues to lead all contenders as Democrats’ first choice for the nomination, with half of the Democratic vote - more than double the support of her nearest challenger, Sen. Barack Obama. Former Sen. John Edwards, the trial lawyer whose forceful approach to Clinton during the debate has become the subject of considerable discussion, saw no change in his position as the Democrats’ third-place candidate.
    Clinton’s 50% of the vote, Obama’s 22%, and Edwards’ 15% are virtually unchanged from Gallup’s Oct. 12-14 poll.

    Clinton continues to have the highest favorable ratings of the three leading candidates.

    November 7, 2007 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  14. Jon, Toledo, OH

    Corn-based ethanol is a sham. It is inefficient and drives up the cost of every other crop. Cellulosic and other types of ethenol that are based on non-consumable sources are what this country needs. Then we can really break our dependance on foreign oil and not drain our wallets in the process.

    November 7, 2007 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  15. Rev. Baker,

    It takes 3 gallons of diesel fuleto harvest and produce corn made ethanol. How is that better. u still got 3 gallons of diesel exhaust, to come out 1 gallon of ethanol. corn isnt the answer it will spike food prices just like gasoline. HEMP is the answer food fuel fiber 100% renewable

    November 7, 2007 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  16. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I believe most people running for office have it wrong when they talk about ethanol. It can be made from other thing and not just corn. There was a report on NPR on 11/5/07 talking about using leftover from sawmills and lumber for ethanol. Producing ethanol from things we could eat is silly to put it nicely.

    If we are to start moving to "renewable fuels," then let us do it correctly from the beginning. This requires materials that we do not eat. It should also be made, if possible, made from waste products that we throw out every day. Left over wood chips could be an ethanol source as well as other things. Having a vehicle engine use also methane which we can get from over flowing landfills as well as factory farms would be a great thing as well. I would love to see the Detriot automotive companies come out with a engine that could handle any of the following: ethanol, methane, CNG, any gasoline mixture as well as diesel. If that kind of engine could be combined with an electric battery to provide at least half the power, that would be a car I would consider.

    It is too bad that there are still skeptics about global warming. The reason that I have heard so many skeptics use is that it would hurt the economy and cost jobs. Apparently this people are too afraid of new businesses. They can't think outside the box. These new industries and businesses would create thousands of jobs and require the U.S. to have a greater emphasis on science and engineering programs at our colleges and universities. The skeptics are scared that their funders can't compete with new technologies and ideas.

    November 7, 2007 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  17. Hank, Fort Myers, Fl

    I am a supporter...but really–pledging specific support and increased incentives for biofuel (which even elementary schools students know is not environmentally or financially practical)seems to be target only to the special interests of Iowa farmers. Remember Hillary, no matter what happens in Iowa–every American is analyzing your actions as a potential President. Say it like you really think it is, not by attempting to reach out to specific interest groups. What you stand for and what we need is the assurity–that you will address the needs of all Americans–and you will correct dumb things in Washington–even if it may mean losing some polls and votes. I don't think it will, America is looking for a fresh and positive change that is willing to objectively consider all actions, and make wise decisions based on their own judgement. You really can make it without having to hold out a bone or cater to special intersts–even good ones. Stay on track be a totally different President–the kind you want to be...the kind America hasn't had for a long, long, time. The kind most clear headed Americans yearn for.

    November 7, 2007 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  18. Steve, Sumter SC

    After approx 8 years in the senate, I would love to see her voting record on this issue to see if this is actually her stance or a last second effort to wins votes!

    November 7, 2007 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  19. Jen, Gainesville, FL

    She came to the game too late!! Again, a follower. There is nothing new beyond Obama's energy policy publicized months ago.

    November 7, 2007 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  20. Len, Fallbrook, CA

    If we could only harness the hot air coming out of her mouth.............

    November 7, 2007 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  21. leftyloosey

    Is Hillary planning a crime against humanity or does she just not know what she is talking about again??

    "A U.N. expert on Friday called the growing practice of turning crops into biofuel "a crime against humanity" because it has created food shortages and sent food prices soaring, leaving millions of poor people hungry.

    Scientific research is progressing very quickly, he said, "and in five years it will be possible to make biofuel and biodiesel from agricultural waste" — not from wheat, maize, sugar cane and other food crops."

    November 7, 2007 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  22. Kate, Aurora CO

    Ms Clinton, like many other Americans, should really do extensive research before shouting the praises of corn-based ethanol. Firstly, many high profile crop scientists say ethanol will end up contributing to global warming. Also in all tests conducted, ethanol has been found to have very little to no reduction in GhG. Additional studies have shown ethanol utilized 30% more energy to produce than it creates. Lastly, ethanol production would devastate those populations reliant on corn with increase in pricing and reduction of available land. Corn-based ethanol is not the answer.

    November 7, 2007 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  23. Ryan Indianapolis

    Wierd..Bush is already trying to do that and your democratic led congress cant get anything done...Sorry Hillary this idea is old and your not inventing the wheel...

    November 7, 2007 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  24. Chris, Middletown, CT

    I think the reason there are skeptics is that the science is flawed. We all agree the Earth has "warmed" 1 degree from 1900 – whats at issue is whether Al Gore (who stated that CO2 was the cause) was truthful – Jon Stossel did a report on 20/20 about global warming – the graphs Gore shows that look like CO2 and heat are happening at the same time isn't true....he zoomed in on them...heat first....then CO2 follows...sometimes as long as 1000 years later....cause and effect are NEVER in reverse....we should be "green" for the right reasons...lies are not one of them – the most inexpensive power – hydropower...followed by wind...and geothermal (gas is 2.86 a gallon – biodiesel is 2.70 (for the same energy) hydro is 91 cents....wind and geothermal is 1.66/1.69 respectively – do the math...

    November 7, 2007 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  25. looneytune

    Clinton says she'd boost biofuels, ethanol production
    Posted 11/6/2007 05:45:11 PM | Permalink

    Why do you put these topics up if you don't posts the responses? No wonder your viewership is shrinking faster than George's pecker in a cold pool.

    November 7, 2007 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
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