Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Policy Heather Zichal addressed the annual gathering of Renewable Fuels Association members yesterday. During her talk, she reiterated the President’s commitment to the ethanol industry regardless of feedstock or technology used.
More specifically, Zichal addressed some of the current policies in place designed to expand the ethanol industry and the need to recognize that the White House and the industry share a vision for the continued evolution of the biofuels industry.
Addressing the ethanol tax incentive directly, Zichal said: “The message I want to bring to you today is that we want to and look forward to engaging with the industry and the Hill as we look at options for reform. We want to make sure that it’s guided by a recognition that the existing program does work – we’re certainly not looking to upend a program that works, as occasionally happens in Washington. We want to make sure that we are all on the same page as we move forward and have these discussions.”
In addition, Zichal spoke of the Administration’s desire to see both current ethanol producers as well as next generation technologies succeed. “To be clear, this administration is working to provide continued support for first-generation corn ethanol, which we believe is a critically important renewable fuel source,” Zichal said. “At the same time, we’re also looking forward and are working to accelerate the creation and rapid deployment of advanced biofuels, which we think will ultimately become one of the nation’s most important industries in the years to come.”
Zichal also expressed appreciation for the thoughtful participation of the RFA and its members in constructively seeking solutions to issues currently before the industry. “We certainly welcome RFA’s willingness to advance new ideas about how to tackle these policies,” Zichal said. “The administration has had a strong partnership with RFA and we certainly look forward to continuing that.”