The Advanced Biofuels Association today called on Congress to make changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard, breaking unity within the renewable fuels industry on maintenance of the current RFS. I am announcing today that ABFA, at the instruction of our members, will actively seek to reform the program,” ABFA President Michael McAdams said today in a speech to the group’s leadership conference in Washington.
“We call on Congress, which has studied these issues for two years and held numerous hearings, to step up and pass the fixes I have outlined. We believe that if Congress enacts these changes, then the investment community will have the certainty necessary to finance continued development of the advanced and cellulosic industry,” McAdams added.
“Today, members of the Advanced Biofuels Association are facing incredible challenges, including diminishing capital markets, an uncertain tax code, and a patch-quilt of state laws and federal regulations,” he said. “Unfortunately, the Renewable Fuels Standard — the very tool that was created to foster our industry — has become one of the greatest obstacles to continued development of the advanced and cellulosic biofuel industry due to inconsistent and poor implementation.”
Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, which represents ethanol plant builders and managers, said in a news release that the proposal is shortsighted.
“By opening up the RFS for legislative changes, you are opening a can of worms that will only create further uncertainty for the industry, which is the last thing biofuel producers of any kind need,” Buis said.
“This is a shortsighted proposal that would set the entire renewable fuels industry on the path to a rollback of the RFS,” he said. “By opening up the Clean Air Act, the end results could be far more disastrous for renewable fuel companies, given the oil companies’ resistance to complying with the RFS.
“The simple fact is that first-generation fuels, such as corn-based ethanol and cellulosic ethanol, are inextricably linked, and this proposal completely ignores that competitive commercialization in the future is likely to remain tied to the grain ethanol industry to capture the economic synergies of supply chains, co-production and marketing,” Buis added.