The chairman of the Renewable Fuels Association outlined the industry’s top priorities for 2009 during a telephone press conference Tuesday morning.
Chris Standlee with Abengoa Bioenergy says there are three main priorities for the industry – stimulating economic growth, increasing blend limits, and modeling life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions.
Standlee called on Congress and the Obama administration to recognize and continue to build upon the success of agriculture and the ethanol industry as they work to stimulate the economy and create green jobs. “Ethanol is one of the original green jobs,” said Standlee, and there are more than 325,000 jobs currently related to ethanol in the nation. They would like to see any stimulus package include provisions for ethanol producers to obtain credit and capitol necessary to build new biorefineries and deploy new technologies for next generation ethanol.
Standlee says modernizing the blend level for ethanol in vehicles is critical for the success of the Renewable Fuels Standard. RFA believes that all vehicles can immediately accommodate ethanol blends of 12-13 percent, which will help in the short term, but long term that needs to be increased to 15 or even 20 percent. “Preliminary data shows that such a move is possible and practical,” said Standlee.
Finally, RFA is actively involved in EPA’s development of life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions modeling and the issues related to indirect land use. “The scientific community is far from consensus on these issues,” said Standlee. “It’s imperative that EPA consider the litany of issues and variables surrounding this discussion, including appreciating the fact that the environmental footprint of petroleum is getting worse over time.”
Listen to Chris Standlee outlining the industry’s priorities here: [audio:http://www.zimmcomm.biz/rfa/rfa-standlee-open.mp3]