New ag secretary proponent of ethanol

President-elect Barack Obama has selected former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, a strong proponent of ethanol and other bio-fuels as a way to reduce our reliance on foreign oil, as his agriculture secretary. One of the first major decisions the President-elect and Vilsack may have to make is whether to grant the ethanol industry’s requests for billions in federal aid in the stimulus bill, which Mr. Obama has said he hopes to sign into law quickly, perhaps on his first day in office. Vilsack was the co-chairman of a task force last year on climate change for the Council on Foreign Relations, which recommended phasing out subsidies for mature biofuels, including corn-based ethanol, as well as reducing tariffs on imported biofuels like Brazilian sugar ethanol.