The U.S. House Committee on Agriculture yesterday approved a resolution that embraces a new national vision of meeting 25 percent of the nation's energy needs from renewable sources by 2025.

Known as the 25x'25 resolution, it received broad support from agriculture, industry and environmental leaders; state governors; and four state legislatures. It has more than 80 co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives, and 27 co-sponsors in the Senate.

"25x'25 is a bold energy vision for this nation," says Read Smith, co-chairman of the 25x'25 steering committee.  "It has the support of republicans, democrats, industry, and environmental leaders - and the agriculture and forestry communities are at its heart."

Lead sponsors include: Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Collin Peterson (D-Minn), Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.); and Sens. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), Ken Salazar (D-Colo.), Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).

During the past two years, support has been building for the 25x'25 initiative, which would tap renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and biofuels, says Smith. More than 275 organizations have endorsed the vision, along with 18 governors, including: Governors Jeb Bush (R-Fla.), Mitch Daniels (R-Ind.), Jim Douglas (R-Vt.), Jim Doyle (D-Wis.), Robert Ehrlich (R-Md.), Ernie Fletcher, (R-Ky.), Jennifer Granholm (D-Mich.), Dave Heineman (R-Neb.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), John Lynch, (D-N.H.), George Pataki (R-N.Y.),  Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.), Ed Rendell (D-Pa.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Brian Schweitzer (D-Mont.), Kathleen Sebelius (D-Kan.), Bob Taft (R-Ohio), and Tom Vilsack (D-Iowa).

Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), ranking member of the House agriculture committee, said, "Today the Agriculture Committee recognized the importance of expanding the production and use of renewable energy sources by passing the 25 by 25 resolution. This is an important priority, not just for agriculture, but for the entire country as we pursue energy independence."

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