As last week came to a close, U.S. Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced a bill to place what the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) calls artificial caps on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) annual cellulosic biofuel projected production numbers. The proposed limits for any given year would be no more than five percent or one million gallons, whichever is greater, of total volume of cellulosic biofuels commercially available for the most recent calendar year.
In response, Bob Dinneen, RFA President and CEO said this is worse than irony. “Now that truly meaningful investment is being made in cellulosic ethanol companies that can be witnessed by the steel in the ground and actual production and introduction of millions of gallons of advanced ethanol into the marketplace, the Congressman wants this nation to turn its back on progress — turn back the clock to days of petroleum domination,” said Dinneen.
“Americans want fuel choice, they want cost savings, and they want American energy independence. America is noted worldwide for its ingenuity and creativity. Ethanol, especially the next generation that is now coming to fruition before our eyes, is the epitome of the American spirit.
Rather than encouraging that uniquely American entrepreneurial spirit, Congressman Sensenbrenner would limit the growth in advanced biofuels to no more than five percent per year. Clearly, far faster growth will occur if the RFS is left to work as designed. But in any case, I wonder if Congressman Sensenbrenner would agree to a five percent cap on the growth of non-conventional petroleum from fracking in the same spirit he is trying to cap advances in biofuels to five percent. Why limit the speed of progress toward energy independence from any domestic resource?” concluded Dinneen.