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Talent: 'We're going to be in a new world -- a renewable world'

Thursday, August 17, 2006

(Photo)
U.S. Sen. Jim Talent (D-Mo.) speaks to supporters Wednesday, Aug. 16, at a campaign stop at the Mid-Missouri Energy plant in Malta Bend. Talent stressed his commitment to agriculture and agribusiness, focusing on key issues facing the Senate's agriculture committee.
U.S. Sen. Jim Talent focused on his record of supporting agriculture and renewable fuel policies during a campaign stop Wednesday, Aug. 16, at the Mid-Missouri Energy plant in Malta Bend.

"In five to 10 years we're going to be in a new world," he said. "A renewable world."

He noted that he voted for the federal energy bill last year that included support for renewable fuels, including ethanol.

"It gives me a real sense of having made a difference," he said.

He also noted that renewable fuel projects not only are helping farmers and creating jobs but may potentially increase national security.

"There's no national security without energy independence," he said.

Talent added that his support for renewable fuel development does not preclude support for oil exploration and extraction in the Arctic as well.

"I'm Mr. Ethanol in the Senate," he said. "But I'm for oil exploration in the Arctic as well. There's 10 billion barrels of oil up there and we're going to need it, too."

Talent also explained his views about the next farm bill. The current farm legislation expires in 2007, and Talent said he will insist that the House and Senate agriculture committees take the lead in writing the new bill.

He indicated that the interests of farmers and agribusiness might not be well-served otherwise.

"A lot of people on both sides of the aisle are openly contemptuous of production agriculture," he said.

A key to the new farm bill, however, is the next trade agreement. Talent said it might even be necessary to extend the current farm bill and delay the new one in order to get a new trade agreement passed first.

Talent said at a visit to the MFA research facility south of Marshall on July 29 that it wasn't necessarily a bad thing that the recent World Trade Organization talks ended without an agreement.

He said some trade partners were expecting the U.S. to make too many concessions and that no agreement was better than a bad agreement.

Contact Eric Crump at

marshallfaith@socket.net



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