Executives Criticize RFS Delays on Cellulosic Growth

Joanna Schroeder

Executives from the advanced biofuels industry are criticizing the Obama Administration for not adhering to its promise to support the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). They say the lack of adhering to mandates has undercut investment in advanced biofuels and sent innovative companies, technologies and jobs oversees. In a letter they write that “broken promise…flies in the face of the President’s statements in support of clean energy and climate change policy.”

Corn stover is used by several bioenergy companies to produce cellulosic ethanol. Photo: Joanna Schroeder

Corn stover is used by several bioenergy companies to produce cellulosic ethanol. Photo: Joanna Schroeder

A call held yesterday in conjunction with the letter submission happens to follow remarks by USDA Secretary Vilsack and EPA Administrator McCarthy about the climate impact of biofuels and the RFS – with Administrator McCarthy asserting that the RFS is a crucial part of America’s efforts to combat climate change.

The proposal, argues the advanced biofuels industry, has been devastating for the development of advanced and cellulosic biofuels. Already, $13.7 billion in investments have been frozen, threatening to send American innovation and investment overseas to countries like China and Brazil. It is anticipated that President Obama will be taken to task for U.S.’s lack of leadership and commitment on climate change.

During the call, Adam Monroe, North America President of Novozymes said, “The Obama Administration’s proposal eviscerates the RFS by allowing EPA to slash renewable fuel volumes when the oil industry refuses to distribute renewable fuel. Oil companies are not going to compete with renewable fuel if they can avoid the requirement altogether by simply blocking distribution and market access.”

Vincent Chornet, President, CEO and Co-Founder of Enerkem emphasized how the Obama Administration’s decision impacts international interest in U.S. projects, stating, “This proposal forces investment out of America. Advanced biofuels are on the brink of significant growth – but the Administration’s proposal strands investment and threatens a decade of innovation and progress.”

advance biofuels, Cellulosic, Novozymes, RFS