Groups Praise President's Commitment to Renewable Fuels

President's energy address garners positive reaction.

Published on: Mar 31, 2011

Reacting to the President's speech on energy, Growth Energy credited the Obama White House with embracing domestic production of alternative energy, particularly ethanol, to offset soaring costs of foreign oil. Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, commended the President for recognizing the infrastructure barrier must be removed to increase the use of more home-grown fuels.

Growth Energy's Fueling Freedom Plan contains reformed ethanol tax provisions designed to increase the number of Flex Fuel vehicles on the road and Flex Pumps at filling stations, in order to allow open access to the fuel market and allow consumers choice at the pump. Buis noted that many elements of the Obama plan are drawn from the Growth Energy proposal.

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen says they are encouraged by President Obama's recognition of the important role domestic biofuels must play in America's energy future.

"We stand ready to meet the challenges put forth by President Obama," Dinneen said. "That means we must think outside the box when it comes to incentivizing the use of ethanol, expanding the market for ethanol, and accelerating the commercialization of advanced ethanol technologies. In order to achieve the President's goals, we must ignore the crocodile tears of many ethanol critics and those from the oil patch. Efforts to slow, stall, and squash the continued growth and innovation in American ethanol production, must not be allowed to succeed.

The National Biodiesel Board also welcomed President Obama's call for boosting the production of domestic fuels and pledged the U.S. biodiesel industry stands ready to help the country achieve greater energy independence. Manning Feraci, NBB's Vice President of Federal Affairs, says they are ready and able to meet the nation's Advanced Biofuel goals and in the process create new jobs, improve the environment and enhance the nation's energy security.

The biodiesel industry is already poised for a record year in which it will displace nearly a billion gallons of petroleum with a renewable fuel produced right here in the United States. Biodiesel, which is made from a diverse mix of feedstocks such as vegetable oils, animal fats and recycled cooking oil, is the only commercial-scale U.S. fuel to meet the Environmental Protection Agency's definition as an advanced biofuel. 

National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson is encouraged by President Obama's goal to reduce oil imports and improve America's energy security by expanding the production of cellulosic biofuels. 

"Cellulosic ethanol is critical to achieving the Renewable Fuel Standard of 36 billion gallons by 2022," Johnson said. "In order to achieve this goal, cellulosic biofuels and other advanced biofuels need to become commercially viable. It is vital that we develop a strong infrastructure to get these fuels from farm to marketplace. We must invest in blender pumps and increase the number of flex-fuel vehicles on the road."

Also singing the praises of the President's message was the 25x'25 Alliance.

"We agree with the White House assessment that 'some of our most effective opportunities to enhance our energy security can be found in our own backyard,'" said Read Smith, a Washington state wheat farmer and co-chair of the 25x'25 Alliance Steering Committee. "The administration's commitment to expanding biofuels markets and commercializing new biofuels technologies is the latest in a long history of White House support for biofuels. The president has recognized bioenergy as a key component in a larger set of renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions that that need to be implemented for this nation to create a stable and clean energy sector."