The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) has submitted documents to the House Science Energy and Environment Subcommittee for a hearing on motor fuel standards, suggesting that ‘consistent implementation’ of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) will be a critical support mechanism to allow advanced biofuels companies to continue bringing new technologies to the fuels market.
Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO's industrial and environmental section, says the RFS has successfully opened the market to advanced biofuels and, in turn, helped bolster ‘U.S. energy security and economic competitiveness.’ He also notes that biofuel producers and biotech 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.’
‘But this progress could be threatened by political uncertainty about continuing the RFS,’ Erickson says. ‘Some special interest groups are threatening this progress and creating additional uncertainty by calling for an end to the RFS.’
In addition to a stable implementation of the RFS, BIO wants the Environmental Protection Agency to use technology-neutral rules to evaluate drop-in advanced biofuels – not simply ethanol – so that these fuels can be certified quickly for market use.
‘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,’ Erickson says. ‘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.’