05/12/2009 - Member eNewsletter: Workshops, Educational and Job Opportunities, and More

International Institute for Ecological Agriculture

May 12, 2009 member newsletter

The Alcohol Fuel Revival is ON!
Workshops, Educational and Job Opportunities, and More


We are very pleased to report that the federal government is finally stepping up to support and encourage development of sustainable food and fuel programs. In specific, The Obama administration last week included alcohol and ethanol fuel development as solutions warranting significant funding incentives, (the presidential directive follows, at the end of this newsletter).

For the first time in years, there is reason to feel guardedly optimistic that economic revitalization will be supported by our government. Leveraging permaculture science, rural as well as urban communities will be able to create millions of new nonexportable jobs necessary for the sustainable production of food and fuel, as well as jobs in related byproduct industries.


Alcohol Can Be a Gas! News

1) Two New Wisconsin Workshops Scheduled!

2) Alcohol Can Be a Gas! selected as core curriculum for Richland (Illinois) Community College

3) More Workshops to Come — Please Help Us Make Them Happen!

4) David Blume on Coast to Coast radio last Wednesday, May 6th.

National News

5) Unemployment

6) Press Release: Obama Supports Biofuels

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Alcohol Can Be a Gas! News

1) Two New Wisconsin Two-Day Intensive Workshops Scheduled!

In conjunction with the Wisconsin Farmers Union, Wisconsin Office of Renewable Energy, the Osseo-Fairchild High School District, the Madison Area Technical College, and statewide activists, IIEA is cosponsoring two upcoming 2-day intensive workshops in Wisconsin.


Our two-day intensive workshop will be well attended and supported by educators, farmers, activists, and eco-entrepreneurs from all over the country. This is an outstanding way to get a jump start on a new business opportunity or avocation that will be driving America’s move to true energy independence.


Enrollment is limited — Sign Up Now


Workshop #1 — June 27 & 28, 2009 (Saturday & Sunday)  Register Now

Venue:     Osseo-Fairchild High School indoor rotunda

Address:   50851 East St, Osseo, WI 54758

Phone:      (715) 597-3141

Map:         Click HERE

Time:        8:00 am to 5:00 pm CT

Cost:         $267 (early registrants receive a coupon for $100 off an alcohol fuel conversion kit)

About the location: Centered in the greater Eau Claire Wisconsin metro area, with a population base of more than 155,000, Osseo High School is a showcase facility, ranked as one of the nation’s top small-community high schools. Osseo High is located in a beautiful rural region of Northwestern WI within an hour's drive from Wausau, Wisconsin. The Chippewa Valley Regional Airport (a connector airport) is within a half-hour’s drive, and the twin cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota are a little more than an hour's drive away. Access is primarily via freeway driving.

Accommodations: We will have accommodation suggestions in the next update.


Workshop #2 — July 6 & 7, 2009 (Monday & Tuesday) Register Now

Venue:      Madison Area Technical College — Truax campus, Mitby Theater

Address:   3550 Anderson St Madison, WI 53704

Phone:      (608) 246-6100

Time:        8:00 am to 5:00 pm CT

Cost:         $267 (early registrants receive a coupon for $100 off an alcohol fuel conversion kit)

About the location: Madison Area Technical College (MATC) is the technical and community college for the greater Madison area. Less than a 2 ½ hour drive from Chicago and situated in south central Wisconsin, MATC is located within ten minutes of the Dane County Regional Airport and about an hour from the General Mitchell Milwaukee International Airport. Madison is a progressive and fun city offering great area dining and shopping, and is well within driving distance for residents of Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, and Ohio. MATC provides a prime venue for David’s two-day course.

Accommodations: We have arranged a great group rate at the Madison Doubletree Hotel (located on the MATC campus), at 525 W. Johnson St. We have set up a conference code with the hotel, and those reserving by June 19th can stay for $119 per night (up to four in a room). The Doubletree’s usual rate is $159–$169, so this is a huge savings. The hotel is located near restaurants and offers shuttle service for the campus.
Here are some helpful links:

Area map

Campus map

Mitby Theater driving directions

Madison Doubletree Hotel 


2) Alcohol Can Be a Gas! selected as core curriculum for Richland (Illinois) Community College

Schools as well as state government agencies, contractors, developers, eco-entrepreneurs, and activists are realizing that there is gold in those pages. People all over the country are turning to David’s book and his talks to help home in on next-generation “green” career opportunities. From aquaponics and permaculture-driven CSAs to alcohol fuel plants and distribution networks, the word is out that this is the only comprehensive source for fast-tracking sustainable opportunities for personal, community, and broad business development. Kudos to Richland for recognizing the benefit, and look for more schools to be tying in credits and course certifications.


3) More Workshops to Come — Please Help Us Make Them Happen!

We hope to be able to supply dates and venues in our next update, for Los Angeles CA, New Orleans LA, Houston TX, Ithaca NY, Phoenix AZ, and Sacramento CA, with more cities to follow. If you are interested in helping us set up a workshop in your area, please contact Tom Harvey at 530-257-3533 with venue or promotional ideas, group contacts, or questions.


4) David Blume on Coast to Coast radio last Wednesday, May 6th

David was back on Coast to Coast radio for a quick news update last Wednesday night, and he will return for an in-depth analysis of President Obama’s energy bill in the next couple of weeks (details coming soon). Check out Coast to Coast’s newly redesigned website and the new guest page they have created for David.


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National News

5) Unemployment

Last week the Labor Department stated that the pace of layoffs slowed in April when employers cut 539,000 jobs. (This is the fewest layoffs in six months: 540,000 — YIKES!) It also reported that the unemployment rate climbed to 8.9%, the highest since late 1983, as many businesses remain wary of adding overhead, given all the economic uncertainties.

This is not a big surprise. We are hearing from people all over the country and the world that employment opportunities are scarce, which is why we are getting so many requests for workshops and why we are scheduling them all over the country.


6) Press Release: Obama Supports Biofuels

Those of us who follow David’s articles, postings, and press releases will note that the following presidential directive uses language and presents ideas similar to what David has been saying for the past year and a half. Nice to see them arrive at parity.



President Obama Issues Presidential Directive to USDA to Expand Access to Biofuels

USDA, EPA and DOE form Biofuels Interagency Working Group to increase energy independence 

Source: http://www.usda.gov/2009/05/0145.xml


WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 5, 2009) - President Obama issued a presidential directive today to Secretary Vilsack to aggressively accelerate the investment in and production of biofuels. On a conference call with Energy Secretary Stephen Chu and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, Vilsack also announced that he will help lead an unprecedented interagency effort to increase America's energy independence and spur rural economic development.


"President Obama's announcement today demonstrates his deep commitment to establishing a permanent biofuels industry in America," said Vilsack. "Expanding our biofuels infrastructure provides a unique opportunity to spur rural economic development while reducing our dependence on foreign oil -one of the great challenges of the 21st century."


Increasing renewable fuels will reduce dependence on foreign oil by more than 297 million barrels a year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 160 million tons a year when fully phased in by 2022. On the call, Jackson announced that the EPA would establish four categories of renewable fuels, some of which would be produced form new sources. To address lifecyle analysis, the EPA said they are soliciting peer reviewed, scientific feedback to ensure that the best science available is utilized prior to implementation.


"Producing clean, renewable energy in our country is a powerful rural development tool that creates jobs domestically while generating new tax revenues for local, state, and federal governments," added Vilsack.


President Obama directed Secretary Vilsack to expedite and increase production of and investment in biofuel development efforts by:


Refinancing existing investments in renewable fuels to preserve jobs in ethanol and biodiesel plants, renewable electricity generation plants, and other supporting industries; and Making renewable energy  financing opportunities from the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 available within 30 days.


These opportunities include:

- Loan guarantees for the development, construction, and retrofitting of commercial scale biorefineries and grants to help pay for the development and construction costs of demonstration-scale biorefineries.

- Expedited funding to encourage biorefineries to replace the use of fossil fuels in plant operations by installing new biomass energy systems or producing new energy from renewable biomass.

- Expedited funding to biofuels producers to encourage production of next-generation biofuels from biomass and other non-corn feedstocks.

- Expansion of Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program, which has been renamed the Rural Energy for America Program, to include hydroelectric source technologies, energy audits, and higher loan guarantee limits; and  Guidance and support for collection, harvest, storage, and transportation assistance for eligible materials for use in biomass conversion facilities.


The Biofuels Interagency Working Group will develop the nation's first comprehensive biofuels market development program. The increased collaboration between federal agencies will accelerate the production of and access to sustainable homegrown energy options by coordinating policies that impact the supply, secure transport, and distribution of biofuels, as well as identifying new policy options to improve the environmental sustainability of biofuels feedstock production.


The Biofuels Interagency Working Group will also work to develop policies to increase flexible fuel vehicle production and assist in retail marketing efforts while also taking into consideration land use, habitat conservation, crop management practices, water efficiency and water quality, and lifecycle assessments of greenhouse gas emissions.


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