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GREENER Fuels Act Would Undermine Investment in Advanced Biofuels, BIO Says

March 8, 2018

The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) today voiced its opposition to legislation introduced by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) that would revise the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in way that will fundamentally undermine the goals of the RFS and chill investment in advanced biofuel.

Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section, said, “Senator Udall’s and Representative Welch’s proposal creates new uncertainty for cellulosic and advanced biofuel producers, threatening to halt their recent progress. Cellulosic ethanol companies have made significant strides in recent years, overcoming years of instability in the RFS.

The GREENER Fuels Act legislation proposes to disqualify cellulosic residue from corn kernel fiber – which was approved for cellulosic biofuel production by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2014 – and other advanced feedstocks approved by EPA after years’ long analyses. It would further sabotage cellulosic and advanced biofuel development by setting each year’s biofuel obligation at the production level achieved in the preceding year, capping advanced biofuels at 2 billion gallons – below their current level of production – and ending the RFS when cellulosic biofuels achieve 2 billion gallons of production.

Erickson continued, “Rather than subvert a policy that has displaced nearly 2.5 billion barrels of imported oil and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 780 million metric tons, Congress should work to ensure that U.S. consumers can choose the lowest carbon fuels at the pump. And rather than roll back progress in cellulosic biofuel production, Congress should exercise its oversight authority to urge EPA to rapidly approve new biofuel technologies and provide new pathways to the transportation fuel marketplace.”

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