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Bush Visits Biotech Plant in Franklinton

Posted February 22, 2007

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— President George W. Bush met with researchers at a Franklin County plant Thursday to discuss his call for an increase in alternative fuels to reduce American dependence on foreign oil.

Bush toured the Novozymes plant in Franklinton, which produces enzymes that break down corn starch so it can be converted to ethanol, and held a panel discussion with researchers there.

"We're here to talk about what's possible, to see what the dreamers are doing," Bush said. "If you really want to reduce dependence on oil, you have to reduce the amount of gasoline you use."

The researchers agreed that Bush's call to reduce the country's reliance on foreign oil by 20 percent over the next 10 years is a goal that can be met, as long as research continues to be funded.

Bush noted that other sources of ethanol need to be developed because the competition for using corn for both fuel -- about 7 billion gallons of ethanol are produced annually -- and agricultural feed is starting to pinch cattle and hog farmers.

"How do you achieve your goal of less dependence on oil without breaking your farmers?" he said. "You develop new technologies that will allow you to make ethanol out of wood chips or stalkgrass or agricultural wastes."

Bush also praised Novozymes, which is based in Denmark, for its continued investment in the plant and the dozens of jobs it has created.

"For those people who are worried about free trade, if this country were to wall ourselves off from the world, we would miss opportunities to find markets for our products and, at the same time, miss opportunities for citizens at facilities like this to find good work," he said.

Novozymes opened in 1979 with about 50 employees, and more than 350 people work there now. Plant employees were thrilled by the national attention a presidential visit brought to their workplace.

"It's great for morale. It's going to enthuse everyone and make them work even harder," Novozymes employee Julie Clemmons said.

North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler also was enthused by Bush's visit.

"It's exciting for me to know that agriculture can play such a big role in helping us break this dependency on foreign oil. It's an opportunity for agriculture," Troxler said.

Before his visit to Novozymes, Bush honored a Durham teacher for his volunteer work.

Jamie Lathan, a history teacher at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, was given the President's Volunteer Service Award for his work mentoring teens and his leadership club for at-risk youth.

"It's hard to believe. It was very humbling when I saw him walk out and walk out to meet me. I was completely humbled and was at a loss for words," Lathan said of his meeting with the president. "He said, 'It's people like you that make America what it is.'"
153 Comments

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  • Say it to my face Mar 27, 2007

    your* excuse me

  • Say it to my face Mar 27, 2007

    Sherl0ckhomz.... you're keyboard seems to be defective.

  • Sherlockholmes Feb 23, 2007

    has had enough
    fOR yOU yES i'M sURE iT wOULD sLOW yOU dOWN cONCIDERABLY! wHAT dIFFERENCE dOES iT mAKE hOW i cHOOSE tO tYPE iF tHATS aLL yOU hAVE tO sAY dONT sAY aNYTHING, iTS bETTER tO bE sILENT aND bE tHOUGHT a fOOL tHAN tO oPEN yOUR mOUTH aND rEMOVE aLL dOUBT nOTHING iN tHIS wORLD iS mORE pATHETIC tHAN sINCERE iGNORANCE aND cONCIENTIOUS sTUPIDITY !

  • SouthernBornSouthernBred Feb 23, 2007

    standup4vctms - my friend did go to the domestic violence center for help. She had photos, witnesses, everything what happened to her has happened to alot of women in Franklin County. She has collected a lot of data and other information from women that were treated unfairly by the domestic violence center. They did not protect her or her children, neither did Jerry Jones. I went with her on several occasions and she was treated like crap. She was pushed to keep everything quite. This is not the place to discuss such issues. You are welcome to e-mail me at anytime. P.S. She is using the information she has gathered along with a lawyer to file suit against Franklin County.

  • has had enough Feb 23, 2007

    By the way - Sherlock - What's with the capitalized words anyway? Seems like that would really slow down the typing??...

  • has had enough Feb 23, 2007

    Sherlock - "I Am Truly Amazed At The Overwhelming Evidence Of Stupidity Expressed in Many Of These Comments. I Am Also Distressed By The Perpetual Contempt Of Our Armed Forces And Honorable Servicemen." - Where did that come from??? Not one post on this forum said anything derogatiry about the troops. Don't use that crap about Disagreeing with Bush means you don't support the troops! Gesh, did we learn anything from Nam???

  • stndup4vctms Feb 23, 2007

    myhometownY maybe you should do some research and check out the domestic violence organization in franklin county and see how much they along with DSS in franklin county as well as the new sherriff are doing for domestic violence in the county. thousands are helped each year but they have to come for the help in order to receive it.

  • SouthernBornSouthernBred Feb 23, 2007

    standup4vctms....I'm not a closed minded person, I also work for the government. I see from your e-mail it means stand up 4 victims....Franklin County doesn't do anything for domestic violence. My friend lost everything after her rich husband beat the crap out of her. He does a lot of stuff illegal, you must the person that representated HIM. The one bad thing about Franklin County is they DON'T stand up for victims. This is the last you will hear from me, because you are so closed minded it would take a miracle for you to appreciate anything.

  • phoenixelon99 Feb 23, 2007

    Stndup4vctms, again I say - if Franklinton is such a bad place, why do you persist in coming back here, and working to help people here? If this place is so bad, GET AWAY! I grew up here just like you did. There was PLENTY here in the 80's! It didn't start to turn down until the early 90's, and when it went bad, it went BAD. We're FINALLY starting to see a resurgence, and NOTHING is needed less in this town than people like you who have nothing but NEGATIVITY regarding this town and what it has to offer people.

  • Thomas Jefferson Feb 23, 2007

    Sherl0ckhomz: Correction. Saddam had already been trading oil for Euro's in 2000. My Mistake. What do you think the effects of this would be for the USA? I didn't see that many comments on here that I would construe as being anti-troops. I am former Army. I've lived in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. Been there, done that, met interesting people, and killed them.

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