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BIO Urges EPA and Congress to Stay the Course on the Renewable Fuel Standard

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Waiving the federal Renewable Fuel Standard even for one year will produce instability in the program for several years, causing uncertainty for companies investing in advanced biofuels and for farmers growing next-generation energy crops.&nbsp;</p>

Washington, D.C. (August 2, 2012) – Jim Greenwood, president & CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today issued the following statement in reaction to a letter sent by 156 Members of the House of Representatives to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson,  where they urged the EPA to reduce the federal Renewable Fuel Standard:

“Some Members of Congress want to rush to make long-term changes to federal energy policy – potentially sacrificing future energy security and job growth – in response to current weather conditions. The solution to the drought that they propose is unlikely to provide relief to livestock producers, farmers, or consumers; it could, however, produce unintended consequences for biotech companies developing advanced biofuels and, thus, have a long-term negative impact on consumers and our nation’s ability to develop critical sources of alternative energy.

“Waiving the federal Renewable Fuel Standard even for one year will produce instability in the program for several years, causing uncertainty for companies investing in advanced biofuels and for farmers growing next-generation energy crops. Conventional biofuel production has declined this year as corn prices have risen. Advanced biofuels are beginning to make headway in coming to market. In fact, the first gallons of cellulosic biofuel were brought to the commercial market just this past April.”

Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Sections, added, “Undermining the RFS will have a chilling effect on the development of cellulosic feedstocks that are not used for food or feed. The RFS is important for all biofuels, but it is critically important for cellulosic feedstock process development. To undermine the RFS now would wound this feedstock development effort that in the long run is going to help both farmers and ranchers. This aspect is often neglected by the media and is not well understood by cattle ranchers, pork and chicken producers.

“The RFS is working, setting a clear path for U.S. energy security, reduced reliance on foreign oil, and a cleaner, healthier environment. Congress and the EPA should be appropriately cautious about rushing to make long-term changes to this policy.”