Archer Daniels Midland Co.
Patricia Woertz, 54, a veteran of Chevron and Gulf Oil, plans to increase ADM's focus on ethanol and other biodiesel fuels.
"We want to be the global leader in bioenergy. In the United States, ethanol is the here-and-now biofuel, and we produce some 1.1 billion gallons a year. Our next-largest competitor is less than the size of one of our plants. By the end of 2008, we'll add another 550 million gallons of capacity.
Some cynics question whether the growth of bioenergy will threaten the food supply.I'd say a clear 'no.' Advances in seed technology and farming techniques are increasing yields in the United States year after year, and they can be adapted and applied globally. The market for bioenergy can actually spur an agricultural renaissance that will create more food and fuel for years.
That said, there is always a need to plug conservation—the gallon we don't use is the cleanest, cheapest, most independent gallon of all."
A version of this article appeared in the October 2007 issue of Fast Company magazine.