Leading up to COP21 in Paris in a couple of weeks Fuels America has launched a climate campaign targeted at President Obama. The campaign encourages him to tout the success of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) during the climate talks. Fuels America is calling on the administration to get the RFS back on track. During the call biofuel industry representatives discussed how the decision on the RFS will be critical in determining if the U.S. will lead by example on climate action. The campaign includes full page ad in the New York Times and digital ads in the Beltway.
“If the President doesn’t reverse course on the disastrous proposal, he will effectively be letting the oil industry and climate deniers in Congress dictate our climate policy,” said Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union, during the press call. “It will upend America’s most successful policy cutting greenhouse gas emissions and combatting climate change, and stifle investment in advanced biofuels in America.”
Speakers noted the threat to the advanced biofuels industry is significant with $13.7 billion in investment in advanced biofuels currently frozen according to a report from BIO. Chris Standlee, executive vice president of global affairs at Abengoa Bioenergy, noted during the call that Abengoa is looking to deploy its cellulosic ethanol technology overseas due to the uncertainty caused by the current state of the RFS. The company’s first cellulosic ethanol plant went online last October in Hugoton, Kansas.
“This Administration’s proposal inserts a loophole into the RFS—our country’s most aggressive climate policy in force today—and allows oil companies to continue ignoring their obligations under the law,” explained Standlee. “Our industry has fought and won this battle before—this waiver was sought for years by the oil industry and would allow them to control the RFS and restrict the deployment of the lowest carbon fuels in the world.”
Listen to the presser here: Fuels America Launches Biofuel Climate Ad Campaign Presser
However, noted the press call speakers, the proposed RFS empowers the oil industry to unilaterally block competition from homegrown renewable fuel, and hands oil companies control over America’s most effective policy combatting climate change—drastically undercutting the President’s Clean Power Plan and commitments on climate. They also noted that if the proposed rule is finalized as is, it will effectively stop the evolution of the advanced and cellulosic biofuels industry in the U.S. and continue to push the development of these advanced technologies and fuels overseas.
“We have grown first generation ethanol capacity and developed technology to add even lower carbon cellulosic ethanol that we are now deploying,” added Quad County Corn Processors CEO Delayne Johnson. “We have stepped up to produce a first generation renewable fuel that has displaced nearly 2 billion barrels of oil in a decade. The EPA, DOE, and other academic institutions say that biofuels like ethanol significantly cut carbon emissions—corn ethanol reduces GHGs by 34 percent compared to regular gasoline and cellulosic ethanol reduces GHGs by up to 108 percent. But we are not stopping there. We are not just deploying a low carbon fuel anymore, we are now commercializing the lowest carbon fuel in the world.”
Industry representatives ended the call by calling on President Obama to make the right choice: choose investment and innovation in American-made clean, renewable fuel.
Speakers on the call included Adam Monroe, President of the Americas, Novozymes; Roger Johnson, President, National Farmers Union; Delayne Johnson, CEO, Quad County Corn Processors; and Chris Standlee, Executive Vice President, Global Affairs, Abengoa Bioenergy.