ST. LOUIS -- The National Corn Growers Association today thanked President Obama for his statement that advanced renewable transportation fuels will be one of the nation's most important industries of the 21st Century, and that corn-based ethanol must remain viable to achieve this vision.

"With oil prices on the rise, ethanol's critical role in the U.S. economy, especially promoting energy security, is more important than ever," NCGA President Bob Dickey said. "We are pleased to hear the president's clear statement of corn-based ethanol's pivotal role in the nation's future energy strategy, and we will continue to make sure the Administration understands the current and future value of corn ethanol."

In his May 27 letter to the Governors' Biofuels Coalition, President Obama noted that improved energy efficiency combined with biofuels provide "the primary near-term option for insulating consumers against future oil shocks and for lowering the transportation sector's carbon footprint."

"The president clearly believes first-generation biofuels have an important role to play in meeting our energy needs," Dickey said. "This also reinforces his previous position that artificial barriers to market expansion need to be addressed in order for large volumes of renewable fuels to find a place in America's transportation fuels system."

The ethanol industry has experienced robust growth, and today produces 10 billion gallons of clean, renewable ethanol while providing more than $20 billion in economic activity and supporting or creating nearly 500,000 jobs here in the United States.

Increasing yields and record corn crops on the nation's farms have made this ethanol growth possible while continuing to service all its customers in the feed, food, and fuel markets both in the United States and abroad.

Founded in 1957, the National Corn Growers Association represents approximately 35,000 dues-paying corn growers and the interests of more than 300,000 farmers who contribute through corn checkoff programs in their states. NCGA and its 48 affiliated state associations and checkoff organizations work together to help protect and advance corn growers' interests.