A few years ago, the U.S. was considered the most promising biofuels market in the world. But recent policy changes, including the latest from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to roll back ethanol and biodiesel blend amounts to lower than what was scheduled in the Renewable Fuel Standard, is allowing the American biofuels market to be outpaced by competitors in Asia and South America. In addition, Thomas Corle with DONG Energy told the panel at yesterday’s hearing on the subject in Arlington, Va. that investors are now more nervous to put money into the U.S. system.
“Financial institutions will base their investment risks on this historical event,” adding that this proposal goes from a policy of encouraging the RFS to discouraging its implementation. Corle said that in 2008, the U.S. was seen as the most promising market for cellulosic ethanol in the world. “But it has now been replaced or outpaced by other markets that are moving faster, especially China and Brazil. We could be driving by biomass refineries in China before we get our first commercial project commissioned here in the U.S. because the policy risk in the U.S. is greater than even China.”
He cited several other projects where the actions of the EPA are stalling projects in the U.S., costing the country jobs and energy security.
More of Thomas’ testimony can be heard here: Thomas Corle, DONG Energy comments to EPA hearing