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U.S. Biofuels Industry Leaders Urge Congress to Reject Repeal of RFS

May 18, 2011


Yesterday, leading advocates of the U.S. biofuels industry commended Congress for its leadership in enacting the enhanced Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), but urged them to "stand firm in the face of calls to waive or repeal the groundbreaking biofuels provisions included in the EISA, including the RFS." The message was explained in a letter signed by Mike McAdams, President of the Advanced Biofuels Association; Brooke Coleman, Executive Director of the Advanced Ethanol Council; Brian Jennings, Executive Vice President of the American Coalition for Ethanol; James Greenwood, President and CEO of Biotechnology Industry Organization; and Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association. Today, the U.S. ethanol industry provides more than 400,000 jobs and brings $53 billion to the nation's economy.  A recent report found that additional job creation from advanced biofuels production under the RFS could reach 807,000 by 2022. "By enabling the entire suite of biofuels as alternative sources of fuel, Congress is helping to significantly lower the cost of fuels for consumers in this country," stated the groups. "Increased efforts for new technologies will only enhance these positive effects." They continue, "As the EISA and expanded RFS rightly recognize, new technologies and the continued evolution of America's biofuels industry will provide additional economic, environmental, and energy security benefits. By requiring that 21 billion gallons of the 36 billion gallons of required renewable fuel use in 2022 be advanced biofuels, Congress has given investors and technology developers alike confidence that a market for advanced biofuels will exist. It is important to continue to require that 21 billion of the 36 billion gallons of required renewable fuel use come from advanced biofuels, including cellulosic and algae-based biofuels. Calls to reduce, waive or eliminate the RFS would send a chilling signal to markets at time when dozens of new biofuels technologies are traversing the so-called "Valley of Death" to first commercialization." The groups concluded, "By moving forward with the policies included in the EISA to increase the production and use of domestically produced biofuels, including advanced technologies such as cellulosic and algae-based biofuels, we as a nation can begin the challenging but necessary task of mitigating the impact of global climate change, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and creating the kind of economic opportunities that cannot be outsourced."