The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today testified at the EPA’s Public Hearing for the 2014 Standards for the Renewable Fuel Standard Program (RFS), telling the agency that commercial development of advanced and cellulosic biofuels, as well as other biotechnology applications, could come to a halt if the recently released proposal becomes policy. The agency has proposed to decrease use of advanced biofuels in transportation in 2014, reversing the growth path intended in the RFS.
BIO’s written and oral testimony states:
“The RFS was designed by Congress to provide a supportive environment for private companies to develop new technologies, new production infrastructure, and new energy crop supply chains. Our companies have acted on this, investing billions of dollars in private capital in conjunction with federal and state grants to launch this new industry. This proposed rule will strand existing investments in advanced biofuels, curtail any further investment and development of future facilities, and put hundreds of thousands of existing and future jobs at risk. It will undercut the commercialization of other biotechnology research and development, such as the burgeoning renewable chemicals industry, that are following on to the growth of biorefinery platforms encouraged by the RFS.
“This proposal will leaving us increasingly dependent on oil, which increasingly comes from volatile regions of the world or is extracted in environmentally detrimental ways such as Canadian oil sands or deep water drilling. Setting the 2014 RFS obligations lower than the 2013 levels would mean that America will use 100 million additional barrels of oil next year alone. This would result in more than 30 million added tons of greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere.
“This proposed rule, if finalized and carried into the future will stymie the growth of advanced and cellulosic production, discourage additional innovation in the biotechnology industry, harm economic growth, undermine U.S. energy security, and enable significant backsliding on the nation’s environmental goals.”