The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today submitted comments to the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Bipartisan Review of the Renewable Fuel Standard with Examination of Agricultural Impacts.
In a letter addressing the committee’s second white paper, “Agricultural Sector Impacts,” Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section, wrote, “Congress established the RFS to encourage the use of existing biofuels and the development of advanced biofuels in order to reduce our reliance on the rising cost and price volatility of foreign oil. Therefore, it is crucial we maintain the RFS in order to spur on alternative energy production to stabilize and lower both energy and food costs.”
Erickson emphasized in the letter, “The biggest impact to agricultural production, feed costs for livestock, and consumer food costs is the volatile price of oil. Through the mandate of the RFS and the increased use of biotechnology, we are beginning to see the rapid development of biofuels and the biobased economy, which can help mitigate the volatility energy prices cause to commodities, transportation, energy costs, and processing.
“The RFS is spurring the development of biotechnology in agriculture, which can continue to increase productivity for corn and other grains without increasing fertilizer and chemical loads, which is a key to sustainably meeting demand. Grain farmers will always seek markets for grain that add the most value, and biotechnology can add value to the sugar and proteins from grains and create new markets.”