Obama Maintains Commitment to Biofuels

Joanna Schroeder

According to a top aide to President Obama, the White House is still highly supportive of renewable fuels. Heather Zichal, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change made this statement during the Renewable Fuels Association’s Washington Legislative Forum that was held this week at the Newseum in Washington, DC.

“One of those most promising [clean energy] industries has been American biofuels,” said Zichal. “Right now, domestic biofuel production is at the highest level ever. In fact, monthly production has increased more than 40% in the last three years. That means that biofuels are already reducing our dependence on oil, cutting pollution, and creating jobs across the country.”

Zichal referenced the need to continue the expansion of the biofuels industry that includes advanced technologies. Last year, President Obama set a goal of breaking ground on at least four commercial scale cellulosic or advanced biorefineries by 2013. She said this goal has been met ahead of schedule and combined, the biorefineries will produce nearly 100 million gallons of advanced biofuels each year.

“[S]o last week, we were encouraged when the biofuels community stood behind EPA’s implementation of the Renewable Fuels Standard – which we think is critical tool to promote growth in renewable fuels production in the years ahead,” said Zichal. “At the same time, we’re taking steps to help level the playing field. Not only has the Administration supported repealing subsidies for oil and gas companies, the President announced yesterday that we’re taking new steps to crack down on manipulation in the oil markets to help protect consumers at the pump.”

While production is important, Zichal also underscored the Obama Administration’s commitment to infrastructure and deployment of renewable fuels and technologies. “Now, as we produce more biofuels, it’s also important that we focus on deployment. If you think back to when America was moving from horseback to rail and then cars and trucks, we didn’t say your own your own. We laid tracks and paved roads and built bridges to accelerate the transition. We need to make a similar effort on biofuels.”

Zichal commended the work beging done by various government departments including the Dept. of Agriculture and Dept. of Energy to bring biofuels, such as ethanol to the market.

“The Obama Administration has been a trusted and reliable partner with America’s growing and evolving ethanol industry,” added RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “President Obama and his team appreciate the vital contributions already being made by existing ethanol producers and are committed to ensuring the commercialization of promising new ethanol technologies.”

advanced biofuels, biofuels, Ethanol, RFA