The Biotechnology Industry Organization today welcomed the release of the final rule and 2013 Renewable Volume Obligations for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), noting that EPA’s carefully balanced implementation of the RFS has provided advanced biofuel developers and investors with confidence that if they can produce advanced and cellulosic biofuels, they will have market access.
Brent Erickson, Executive Vice President of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section, said, “This is a pivotal year for cellulosic and advanced biofuels. Following years of research and development and millions of dollars in investment, the first companies are right now commissioning biorefineries and producing commercial volumes of cellulosic fuel for American drivers. Additional companies have new facilities under construction, with expected start up over the next few years.
“This rapid innovation in cleaner, renewable fuels is creating thousands of new jobs today. The visible progress of the industry is proof that the Renewable Fuel Standard works.
“Current efforts to destabilize the program are short-sighted and motivated solely by the oil refining industry’s desire to block competition and consumer choice at the pump. BIO firmly believes that the limits to market access for biofuels commonly referred to as the blendwall represent a series of barriers contrived by obligated parties to prevent biofuels from gaining access to the marketplace. Multiple avenues exist for blending additional volumes of biofuel into the nation’s fuel supply. BIO urges EPA to withstand pressure to reduce RFS obligations based on blendwall claims.
“BIO is pleased that our member company ZeaChem recently gained registration to produce qualifying cellulosic biofuel at its Boardman, Oregon, facility. EPA has made progress in clearing the regulatory pathways for development of advanced biofuels. Unfortunately, BIO anticipates EPA will again face waiver requests and legal challenges that are designed to slow these regulatory processes. BIO urges EPA to continue to stand firm against outside legal and political challenges to undermine the RFS.”