In Tennessee, Governor Bill Haslam and U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander are promoting switchgrass for ethanol production, as a DuPont venture gets ready to begin production next year. Switchgrass is widely grown in East Tennessee and can offer several benefits to the region and country including reducing the strain on corn production, which creates higher prices.
The two Republican policy makers visited a Vonore farm that grows several types of switchgrass, followed by tours of the processing plant and biorefinery that will produce ethanol from switchgrass next year. The biorefinery currently produces ethanol from a variety of cellulosic materials including corncobs.