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Thoughts on the President's State of the Union

February 12, 2013
I had several thoughts watching President Obama’s State of the Union Address tonight. First, we at BIO remain concerned about the possible impact that sequestration may have – specifically the potential impact it may have on human health. There are millions of patients – all hopeful that new treatments will become available soon. Our fear is that sequestration may impact the ability of those patients to access new treatments in a timely manner. That fear is balanced by our hope that the Congress and the President will work together to find a way to avoid sequestration from negatively impacting human health.

Second, I applaud the President’s call for cleaner American energy. With advances in technology, America’s energy solutions exist here at home – not overseas in nations who oppose us. In fact, biotechnology is paving the way to cleaner energy security without sending our hard-earned American dollars to foreign nations.

One of the ways we do this is through America’s Renewable Fuel Standard. The RFS is working. It has encouraged long-term investment in advanced biofuel technologies that are now reaching commercial scale. And no threats or backroom political maneuvering from big oil companies and their allies should discourage us from continuing its progress.

And as for the President’s goal of creating good paying American jobs and growing the middle class – he should look no further than the biotechnology industry. Every day our companies are working to find new cures, feed a growing global population and develop cleaner and safer forms of energy. These companies are creating new American jobs. In addition, we must have a debate on the future of our tax code – and ensure that our tax system fosters innovation.

The state of our union can be improved – and if the President and Congress can work together on these issues, our nation will grow stronger.