Now is the time for a call to arms for the renewable energy industry to support and protect America’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), Jim Greenwood, President & CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, told attendees of RETECH 2012 this morning during a keynote speech. RETECH 2012 is the 4th annual Renewable Energy Technology Conference and Exhibition, being held in Washington, DC.
“Our children’s future rests upon our ability to shift as fast as possible to renewable energy sources. But we won’t succeed unless we can convince our political leaders that renewables are ready, reliable and competitive. And that they need the vision and the commitment to provide America with the policies, incentives, and investments necessary to make that happen,” Greenwood said.
Regarding the current requests that EPA waive the RFS for one year, Greenwood said, “The impact of an RFS waiver on advanced biofuels would be devastating. In fact, it could extend by several years the drought that has endured in investment capital for new advanced biofuels technology.”
Discussing why maintaining the RFS is important to the ongoing emergence of advanced biofuels, Greenwood continued:
“Today, there are more than three dozen pilot and demonstration biorefineries in operation, each testing and developing a different technological approach. The first commercial biorefineries are opening too, bringing years of research and development to fruition. They range from advanced and cellulosic biofuels, to algae production, to biobased products and renewable chemicals.
“So this is not the time to kick the legs out from under renewable fuels. And we should not turn our backs on the 400,000 Americans whose jobs are supported by the biofuels industry. As the advanced biofuel industry grows, good employment opportunities will be within reach for many more Americans. By 2022, the advanced biofuel sector could add 800,000 new jobs.
“The RFS is one of the most successful energy policies ever, because it does what it was intended to do. The RFS has made the U.S. the world’s leader in renewable fuel innovation.
“Renewable fuel is making a critical positive difference for our economy, for our environment and for America’s energy security. In uncertain times, renewable fuel is a strong and reliable catalyst for growth, creating jobs while promoting a cleaner environment. Let’s keep this progress moving forward – and keep America’s renewable fuel standard in place.”