BIO Supports Extension of Cellulosic Biofuel Producer Tax Credit, Requests Parity for Algae and Biobased Products

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Friday, March 26, 2010) - Consistent, sustained and diverse federal support is the key to rapid growth of a sustainable advanced biofuel industry. The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today thanked Reps. Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.) and John Shimkus (R-Ill.) for introducing a bill to extend by three years the Cellulosic Ethanol Production Tax Credit. BIO also called for extending tax code parity to algae-based biofuels and a full range of innovative biobased technologies.

Brent Erickson, executive vice president for BIO’s Industrial and Environmental Section, stated, “Rapidly increasing U.S. production of advanced biofuels is a sound way to significantly reduce U.S. carbon emissions and reliance on imported petroleum. Building commercial-scale biorefineries can create new jobs and help revitalize the U.S. economy. A recent report commissioned by BIO, U.S. Economic Impact of Advanced Biofuels Production, projects that development of advanced biorefineries could create as many as 29,000 jobs over the next few years and hundreds of thousands by 2030, contributing more than $140 billion in economic growth. The technology for cellulosic and advanced biofuels is ready, even though commercial development has been slowed by the recession. Enduring federal commitment to the goals of the program is vital to maintaining investment and progress in building biorefineries.

“Public policy should extend support to all biorefinery projects, because production of biobased products, green chemicals and other advanced biofuels – such as algae-based biofuels – holds the same potential to generate jobs, boost economic growth, and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Building biorefineries to apply advanced biotechnology applications for both biofuels and biobased products can establish a unique base for sustainable economic growth in the long term. However, biobased products and algal fuel producers are at a disadvantage in attracting investment because they are not currently recognized in the tax code.”

Erickson continued, “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently released its final analysis of the lifecycle of biofuel production, concluding that they can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental pollutants when compared to gasoline. The analysis specifically recognized the contributions of biotechnology to increasing both crop yields and biofuel production efficiency. U.S. farms continue to increase productivity to meet demand for food, animal feed, fiber and biofuels. Economic analyses show that recent petroleum price spikes have had a significant impact on transportation, food, and commodity costs. The Obama administration’s renewed commitment to support increased production and use of all biofuels to achieve energy security is therefore most welcome.”

For a copy of the report, U.S. Economic Impact of Advanced Biofuels Production, please visit

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BIO represents more than 1,200 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world.