Washington, D.C. (Aug. 2, 2012) – Producing renewable chemicals and biobased products using homegrown biotechnology can generate additional employment opportunities across the United States, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and its member companies said today. BIO thanked Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) for introducing S. 3491, The Qualifying Renewable Chemical Production Tax Credit Act of 2012, which provides renewable chemical and biobased products access to tax credits that are available to other industries.
Sen. Stabenow stated, “These tax cuts are critical to the future of our domestic bio-based companies. This legislation will help spur innovation, grow the economy and – most importantly – create jobs here in America.”
Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section, said, “Industrial biotechnology is a growing industry that creates high-quality employment in research, development, science and engineering. The bio-based products industry employs nearly 100,000 people today, according to an Iowa State CIRAS study, and it can create hundred of thousands of new jobs in the future, with the right government policy. Innovative biotechnology processes provide significant new opportunities to revitalize manufacturing here in the United States. Leveling the playing field for companies that are deploying biotechnology developed here in the United States will ensure that the industry continues to generate economic growth and employment opportunities here at home.”
“Extending tax credits to renewable chemicals and bio-based products expands the portfolio of viable products that can be manufactured from sustainable agricultural resources,” said Bobby Bringi, Chief Executive Officer of MBI, a Michigan-based not-for-profit company that collaborates with universities and companies to accelerate bio-based technologies to market. “Such policy initiatives serve as strong drivers for private investment, commercial deployment and job creation across the value chain – from farms to markets.”
“The introduction of the Qualifying Renewable Chemical Production Tax Credit Act is a step forward to level the playing field for the burgeoning industrial biotechnology sector in the United States,” said Oliver Peoples, chief scientific officer at Metabolix in Cambridge, Mass. “If passed, this move will spur investment and industry job growth stateside, help drive innovation and keep U.S. biotechnology in the lead internationally.”
“We are grateful for Senator Stabenow's support of this bill. Actions such as this encourage private investment in the United States by companies like DSM, which stimulate innovation, production of renewable chemicals and the creation of jobs,” said Stephan Tanda, member of the Managing Board of Royal DSM, with U.S. headquarters in Parsippany, N.J.
Charles R. Eggert, president and CEO of OPX Biotechnologies located in Boulder, Colo., added, “When fully commercialized, new renewable approaches to make chemicals must successfully compete head-to-head with petroleum based processes. We appreciate Senator Stabenow’s understanding and support of production tax credits to encourage investment in the development of economically viable renewable chemicals.”
Philippe Lavielle, Chief Executive Officer of Virdia in Redwood City, Calif., said, “The United States has a unique opportunity to renew economic growth by leveraging its leadership in biotechnology, forestry and agriculture to revitalize manufacturing. Virdia is working to develop new sources of cellulosic sugar to increase the potential for this economic growth and create new opportunities.”
“Innovations in green chemistry from companies like Rivertop are enabling cost-competitive biobased products that reduce the overall impacts on human health and the natural environment,” said Jere Kolstad, president of Rivertop Renewables, based in Missoula, Mont. “A stable PTC will help accelerate the production of these chemicals by encouraging additional private sector investment in new companies as well as use of green chemicals in everyday products.”
Marc Verbruggen, Chief Executive Office and President of NatureWorks LLC, based in Minnetonka, Minn., said, “NatureWorks thanks Senator Stabenow for her leadership in supporting world-class, sustainable manufacturing in the United States from biopolymers such as Ingeo. The Renewable Chemical Production Tax Credit is vital to maintain US global competitiveness, with the potential for all U.S. regions to benefit. The tax incentive supports a triple win-win-win: jobs, innovative higher performing products, and lower carbon impact.”
Verbruggen added that the Act would have an immediate and significant jobs impact, signaling to renewable chemical companies to produce in the United States to meet growing global demand. This demand is creating jobs and spurring new product growth for U.S. manufacturers. Verbruggen noted that NatureWorks’ one plant directly supplies over 50 manufacturing customers in the United States and there is a tremendous multiplier effect, as each of those manufacturers in turn supplies their customer base. Verbruggen noted in addition that the Act would help address the U.S. trade deficit, helping companies capture a projected 19 percent of a new estimated $1 trillion global biochemical market, all while driving low carbon footprint products for leading U.S. brands and retailers. As an example of the latter, he pointed to the tremendous opportunity for the US with the interest from leading auto companies in replacing the lightweight, performance materials in their cars with biobased versions. Verbruggen closed by saying, “I applaud the Senator’s action and encourage speedy adoption to ensure this fast moving industry takes root here in the U.S.”