A Stable Renewable Fuel Standard Is Needed to Meet Biofuel Production Goals, BIO Says
Advanced biofuels companies continue to make progress in bringing new technology to the fuels market, relying on consistent implementation of the Renewable Fuel Standard, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) said today as it submitted documents to the House Science Energy and Environment Subcommittee for a hearing on Motor Fuel Standards.
Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section, stated, “The Renewable Fuel Standard is working as Congress intended to increase U.S. energy security and economic competitiveness by opening the fuels market to advanced biofuels. Pioneering U.S. advanced biofuel producers and biotechnology companies have made significant capital investments, even during the recent recession, to build and operate pilot facilities and more recently break ground on commercial biorefineries. Experience at scale is critical for cost reduction. INEOS New Planet, Abengoa Bioenergy, POET, DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol, Mascoma, and BP Biofuels are building or beginning to operate large-scale cellulosic ethanol plants; and others will follow if we hold on course. These companies have already produced jobs in research and engineering and can create additional good paying jobs in the future.
“But this progress could be threatened by political uncertainty about continuing the RFS. Some special interest groups are threatening this progress and creating additional uncertainty by calling for an end to the RFS. One industry group that helped to devise the waiver credit mechanism program now claims that refiners and blenders are being penalized by having to abide by the regulations.
“Advanced biofuel companies, like other enterprises deploying new technology, face enormous challenges. Still, many have made investments to commercialize advanced biofuel technology that may face different challenges than conventional ethanol. Besides a stable RFS what the industry needs now is for EPA to ensure that advanced biofuels that are drop in fuels are evaluated under technology neutral rules so that they can become certified quickly for use in the market.
“The RFS is a critically important tool for ensuring that fuel markets will be open to new advanced technology as it becomes commercially available and cost competitive. Any drastic legislative changes to the RFS, followed by additional years of new rulemaking, can only create fresh challenges for these companies and serve to hinder development of the technology. The United States must keep focused on the ultimate goals of increasing energy security and maintaining U.S. leadership in deploying advanced technologies that will ensure future economic growth.”