WASHINGTON, September 27, 2012- A new coalition named Fuels America, made up of renewable fuel stakeholders and some farm groups, announced their campaign to defend the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Former Congressman Jim Greenwood, the President and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), led the campaign announcement today.
“More than 400,000 American jobs are supported by renewable transportation fuel, and America leads the world in renewable fuel innovation,” he said. “That is why Fuels America’s diverse membership has come together to reset the national conversation on renewable fuel, protect the progress that has been made and ensure that America’s Renewable Fuel Standard continues its success.”
The launch comes as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers a request to “waive” the RFS, in whole or in part. Governors of Arkansas, North Carolina, Texas, Maryland, Georgia, New Mexico and Delaware submitted formal requests to the EPA to reduce or eliminate its mandate on ethanol production in the United States. The requests echoed concerns of the livestock and poultry industries, which are facing high feed prices due to the drought, about the supply pressure on corn from RFS demands.
The following members of the Fuels America coalition argue that waiving the RFS would undermine accomplishments made through the renewable fuels market for rural communities, renewable technology innovators and energy independence:
Advanced Ethanol Council
American Coalition for Ethanol
American Security Project
Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)
National Association of Wheat Growers
National Corn Growers Association
National Farmers Union
National Sorghum Producers
Renewable Fuels Association (RFA)
During the announcement today, President and CEO of Lakewood, Colorado-based ZeaChem Inc., Jim Imbler, said the RFS creates a market that “offers a hand up, not a perpetual hand out” to the industry.
Thanks to the RFS, “ZeaChem has grown from an innovative idea for producing cellulosic fuel to a scaled operation ready to manufacture,” he said. “The investor certainty created by the Renewable Fuel Standard is essential to our continued growth, and to the growth of other advanced biofuels and bio-based chemicals companies like ours.”
“If the RFS is altered or undermined, companies like ours will have to make tough choices about where to put our long-term dollars,” said President of Novozymes North America, Adam Monroe. “Keeping those dollars, and the jobs they will continue to create, in America means keeping the RFS in place. It’s a market-based signal to innovators and investors – and it works.”
Proponents of the campaign also emphasized national security concerns and energy independence. Vice Adm. Dennis McGinn (Ret.), President of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) said both are dependent on expanding the renewable fuels sector.
“The renewable fuel innovation we have seen across the country since the RFS was created is helping break America’s dependence on foreign oil and giving our armed forces new assets on the battlefield,” he said, adding that Americans saved $50 billion on imported fuel costs in 2011 thanks to renewable fuel.
Greenwood said the cost of the national Fuels America campaign is undisclosed, but that it will include advertising in Washington, D.C., Colorado, Ohio, Delaware and Montana. Each state will have its own online platform reachable through FuelsAmerica.org and feature the stories of renewable fuel innovators and communities with a stake in maintaining the RFS, according to the announcement today. The campaign may extend to other states, as there is no current time limit on the advertising and other Fuels America efforts.
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