BIO Says, President’s Major Biofuels, Climate Change Initiatives Are Game-Changing Solutions

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 23, 2007) --The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today applauded President Bush’s far-reaching initiatives to catapult the U.S. biofuels industry into the next level of commercial development, to address climate change from transportation sources and to increase energy security. BIO Executive Vice President Brent Erickson said, “With recent advances in industrial biotechnology, the United States can significantly increase production of biofuels to meet the ambitious goals set by the President. The biotechnology and ethanol industries are ready to take motor fuel production to the next level. The steps outlined by the President will encourage private investment in a robust, new domestic energy infrastructure. BIO thanks the President for his bold and decisive leadership in presenting a game-changing solution not only for energy problems but also for environmental issues.”

“By proposing a new renewable energy standard that will require fuel blenders to use up to 35 billion gallons of renewable fuel by 2017, the President is sending a dramatically positive signal to the investment community, to farmers, to biotech companies and to gasoline refiners that our government will work with the private sector to make the biofuels sector a major contributor to our energy independence. Biotechnology is the key enabling technology that can help the United States significantly reduce its use of foreign petroleum. America could soon be producing a significant portion of its transportation fuel needs from crops and crop residues with the help of improved crop yields from agricultural biotechnology, increased ethanol production efficiency from industrial biotechnology, and the production of cellulosic biomass ethanol,” Erickson said.

One gallon of cellulose biomass ethanol can replace 30 gallons of imported oil equivalents. Further, ethanol from cellulose produces 85 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline, and carbon sequestered by dedicated energy crops could eventually provide a net greenhouse gas benefit to the environment, according to published studies.

“Using biofuels to help deal with climate change emissions and to increase energy independence is a very cost-effective solution. Industrial biotechnology is already beginning to reduce pollution and manufacturing costs in many industry sectors,” Erickson stated. “And it is doesn’t stop with biofuels. Other products currently made from petroleum resources, such as biobased plastics, can also be made from the same agricultural feedstocks used for biofuels. The President recognizes that we are moving toward the creation of a biobased economy and that is good news for our economy, our security and our environment.”

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.

Upcoming Events

·        BIO CEO & Investor Conference

     Feb. 12-14, 2007, New York City


·        2007 World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing

     March 21-24, 2007, Orlando, FL


·        BIO International Convention

     May 6-9, 2007, Boston, MA