BIO Applauds EPA Response to RFS Waiver Requests

  • Contact: Paul Winters
  • Phone: 202-962-9237
  • Email: pwinters@bio.org
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The Environmental Protection Agency’s logic-based decision to uphold the Renewable Fuel Standard will protect America’s energy security and maintain the industry’s progress in commercializing advanced biofuels, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) said today. BIO previously submitted comments to the agency noting that any waiver of the RFS would certainly harm biofuel producers and biotechnology companies across the United States.

 Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section, stated:

 “EPA has made the right decision and we thank them for making a careful and fully considered analysis. Earlier studies by researchers at Purdue University, Iowa State University and the University of Missouri’s Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute showed clearly that a waiver of the RFS would not undo the economic harm caused by the drought.

 “However, a waiver of the RFS could have undercut ongoing investments in advanced biofuels. Renewable fuels are a significant contributor to our nation's economy and energy security, creating jobs and directly reducing reliance on imported oil. This decision allows BIO member companies to continue to deliver innovative technologies to the market to expand our domestic production of biofuels, including fuels from agricultural residues, municipal solid waste, algae and purpose grown energy crops.”

 BIO member companies also welcomed the decision.

 “We are pleased with the EPA ruling. The agency continues to demonstrate a commitment to U.S. production of renewable fuels to reduce our dependence on imported oil. The careful analyses performed by USEPA and USDA show that the drought, and not the Renewable Fuel Standard, is the cause of the temporary situation,” said Jan Koninckx, Global Business Director for Biofuels at DuPont. “While we empathize with both livestock and ethanol producers that are struggling with higher corn prices, we are also confident that farmers will continue to expand corn production, and DuPont and others will continue to commercialize advanced biofuels - to serve both our feed and renewable fuels needs.”

 “With so much at stake for the economy, we need the Renewable Fuel Standard: Its stability has generated 400,000 careers, billions in private investment – and domestic, renewable fuel for America. Novozymes and other industry leaders have invested more than a billion dollars to commercialize advanced biofuels from agricultural waste, household trash and more, in large part because of the RFS,” added Adam Monroe, President, Novozymes North America. “We appreciate the Administration’s decision to deny the waiver request based on the data – and are pleased the United States will continue becoming less dependent on foreign oil with domestic, renewable fuel for its cars and trucks.”

 “The EPA today made a sound decision in denying a waiver of the Renewable Fuel Standard,” said POET CEO Jeff Lautt. “As studies have shown, a waiver would have likely had little to no impact on commodities prices in the aftermath of the recent drought. This effort was nothing more than the latest attempt by renewable fuel opponents to undermine policy that has helped make America stronger. Today’s decision means the Renewable Fuel Standard remains strong and stable policy, and our industry can move forward with greater confidence, continuing to invest in new technology to make biofuels production even more efficient and commercializing fuel production from cellulosic feedstocks such as crop residue and other plant material.”

About BIO
BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIOtechNOW is BIO's blog chronicling “innovations transforming our world” and the BIO Newsletter is the organization’s bi-weekly email newsletter. Subscribe to the BIO Newsletter.