American Soybean Association (ASA) Chairman Mike Yost testified today in support of the National Sustainable Fuels and Chemicals of 1999 Act (H.R. 2827). During testimony before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Risk Management, Research and Specialty Crops, Yost said that the bill, introduced by Representative Tom Ewing (R-IL), would promote research and help bring new bio-based industrial and other products to market.Yost, a soybean grower from Murdock, Minn., said that U.S. soybean producers have invested millions of dollars through national and state check-off programs in developing and promoting soybean and soy-based products. Biodiesel and soy ink are presently the most visible and commercially successful soy-based industrial products, but many more, such as soy-based lubricants, adhesives and particle boards, are also on the market.”These products are usually more environmentally friendly than their petroleum-based competitors, and they help rural economies by providing new markets for commodities,” Yost said. “However, the technologies are new and emerging and often expensive. H.R. 2827 and its companion bill, S. 935, introduced by Senate Agriculture Chairman Richard Lugar (R-IN), can help serve as catalysts for encouraging federal investment in biodiesel and other bio-based products.”Yost cited the progress made in biodiesel use as an example of industry and government working together to promote sustainable fuels. Last fall, Congress approved ASA-supported legislation to allow public vehicle fleets to earn credits under the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPACT) by using a blend of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel, commonly called (B20). As a direct result, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that it would purchase and use 20,000 gallons of biodiesel. The Agriculture Research Services, which conducted original biodiesel development research, began use of B20 in 65 vehicles at its Beltsville, Md., facility last August, and reports great success. Furthermore, Governor Bob Taft of Ohio has announced that his state will use 400,000 gallons of biodiesel over the next year.Along with encouraging further research, H.R. 2827 and S. 935 would benefit biodiesel, as well as other products, by creating the Sustainable Fuels and Chemicals Board to build a stronger partnership between federal agencies that will improve communication and coordination. ASA also requested that the Subcommittee include authorization for a biodiesel project aimed at reducing costs of soy-based biodiesel.