A group of 16 advanced and traditional renewable fuels stakeholders joined together Thursday to announce both a new coalition and a new campaign to support the Renewable Fuels Standard.
The coalition, dubbed "Fuels America," has already targeted Colorado, Ohio, Montana and Deleware as key states for the launch of its promotional campaign for the RFS. The initiative comes in the midst of an ongoing debate surrounding the effectiveness of the RFS and its role in current commodity price increases.
At the request of numerous state governors, the Environmental Protection Agency is considering public comment for a waiver of the RFS, which mandates renewable fuels production volumes. The comment period will close Oct. 11.
In a press call Thursday, members of Fuels America said an RFS waiver would have negative consequences for the economy and national security.
"The problem with that request for a waiver is that it would essentially pull out the rug from an existing program," said former Pennsylvania Rep. Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization. He added that investors have invested in technology and taken risks to advance the industry on the assumption that the Renewable Fuels Standard will be in place for the foreseeable future.
"To [waive the RFS] now would be a disaster. It would create a level of uncertainty within the investment community that we think could be extraordinarily detrimental to our nation's ability to move forward in this very important technology," Greenwood said.
Adam Monroe, president of Novozymes, said he considered the U.S. to have the best market-creating, stable biofuels policy in the world, and it was an easy choice when his company was considering locations for a new enzyme plant.
"The biomass availability in the United States is enormous, and there is enough of this stuff to make and replace one-third of the country's gasoline," Monroe said. "That's almost what we import today."