BIO Asks Congress to Support Investment in Biofuels and Renewable Energy</a>

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 30, 2007) – “Comprehensive energy legislation must have a meaningful tax title that addresses the needs of clean and advanced energy technology industries that are working to increase domestic energy production and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil.” That is the strong message contained in a letter to Senators sent today by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and 17 renewable energy advocacy groups.

The letter asks Senators to support energy tax legislation similar to the Energy Advancement and Investment Act of 2007, approved by the Senate Committee on Finance on a bipartisan basis in June. Though Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Ranking Member Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) offered that tax proposal as an amendment to the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007, the Senate failed to include it in final passage.

Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial and Environmental Section, said, “Congress and President Bush have set ambitious goals to reduce both greenhouse gas emissions and U.S. reliance on imported oil through increased use of clean, renewable energy. To produce the volumes of biofuels needed to achieve these goals, we must encourage construction of large-scale commercial facilities, producing 100 million gallons or more. There will be considerable business risk for the pioneering companies who build these modern biorefineries. Congress must help ensure that these risks are reduced so that we can meet the goals.

“Innovative companies around the country are right now planning to build biorefineries to bring cellulosic ethanol to the pump. BIO has long advocated a tax incentive such as that proposed by Senators Baucus and Grassley to help these pioneer producers overcome the increased risk associated with bringing cellulosic biofuels to the marketplace. Continued investment in research and development that includes construction of demonstration facilities also is necessary to improve technologies to produce biofuels. The Senate Finance Committee passed this energy tax bill with bipartisan support. Let’s hope, in the interest of changing our energy mix, that the full Congress can pass this legislation this year.”

BIO supports the production of biofuels from all feedstocks. With ongoing advances in biotechnology, biofuels can help America meet nearly half its transportation-fuel needs by the middle of this century.

For a copy of the letter sent to Senators, please visit

BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and 31 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.