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Ferris welcomes commitment on Alternative Fuels

7 October, 2005

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture, Martin Ferris TD, has welcomed yesterday's announcement in the European Parliament by Industry Commissioner Günter Verheugenall that the EU will become more proactive in the promotion of alternative fuels. Part of this will include an update of the Directive on biofuels.

Deputy Ferris said: „Apart from the environmental benefits of alternative fuels, and the need to replace carbon based fossil sources, alternative fuel production could bring considerable economic benefits. I noted that there was much interest in this area at the Ploughing Championships last week. I was particularly interested to hear the views of people involved in the sugar beet sector who are puzzled as to why the existing facility at Carlow is not being used to produce ethanol.

„I have questioned the Minister on this and requested that sugar beet be included in the grant scheme to promote the growing of energy crops. If necessary the Irish Government should argue for this at EU level as it would not only provide continued outlets and employment for those previously involved in the production of beet for sugar, but would make this country a serious player in the biofuels sector." ENDS

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