Advanced Biofuels

EPA’s delays in RFS rulemaking over the past two years have chilled necessary investment in advanced and cellulosic biofuels just as they reached commercial deployment. We estimate the industry has experienced a $13.7 billion shortfall in investment as a result.

Industrial Biotechnology companies have demonstrated visible progress in the commercialization of advanced biofuels, biobased products and renewable chemicals.  A link to these examples is provided.

Governor of Washington Jay Inslee and Governor of California Edmund Brown wrote a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and OMB Director Shaun Donovan, urging them to adopt a final federal Renewable Fuel Standard 2 (RFS2) 2014 rule.

The second letter noted is from Illinois Govenor Pat Quinn and Iowa Govenor Terry Branstad to OMB Director Shaun Donovan expressing concern that the EPA's proposed cuts to the 2014 RFS requirements will have a negative impact on the rural economy and on the biofuels industry.  

On October 8, 2014, Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey (D) and California Senator Barbara Boxer (D) issued a letter to President Barack Obama expressing concerns around the 2014 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Fact sheet on the impact of the 2014 RVO proposal on the environment.

The challenge of conversion of biomass – particularly lignocellulosic biomass and agricultural waste – into chemicals, materials and fuels is being approached in multiple directions and a slew of technologies are now being developed, tested and deployed in semicommercial or pilot stage.

The timing for building a biobased economy as an option to the current petroleum-based one, to provide fuels, chemicals, materials and energy sustainably for the long term future cannot be better.

Harnessing microbes to change the world, one process at a time.

Vigorous government support has played a key role in encouraging China’s development of a bio-based economy, especially in regard to biofuels. 

On July 26, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced four new project areas for the Biomass Crop Assistance Program.

Biofuels Digest and BIO have launched the Summer 2011 Bioenergy Business Outlook Survey.

BIO and five member companies – Mendel Biotechnology, Arborgen, Abengoa Bioenergy, Novozymes and BP Biofuels – along with the Biomass Power Association held a briefing on Capitol Hill this week, outlining the importance of the USDA’s Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) and related programs. Regulatory rules for the BCAP, Biorefinery Assistance Program, and Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) were finalized by USDA only during the last quarter of 2010. But Congress is considering cutting the funds for these programs before they have a chance to show their effectiveness.

To carry out military and humanitarian missions around the world, U.S. forces require reliable fuel supplies and secure supply lines. At the micro level, the military is as much at the mercy of high oil and gasoline prices as the average consumer. In addition, when you calculate the fully burdened cost of fuels, for instance a gallon of jet fuel delivered to the front lines in Afghanistan, it can be upwards of $400 per gallon. And, on a macro level, oil often comes from regions of the world that are not U.S. military allies. The need for great energy independence is therefore a very important national security issue.

Letters, Testimony & Comments

July 27 2015
The Biotechnology Industry Organization (“BIO”) is pleased to have the opportunity today to comment on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA’s”) recently published proposed rule titled “Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Standards for 2014, 2015, and 2016 and Biomass Based Diesel Volume for 2017.”    
May 8 2015
The Biotechnology Industry Organization (“BIO”) is pleased to have the opportunity today to comment on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) Proposed Rule on the 2014 Standards for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) PrograM (“the proposed rule”) and the renewable volume obligations (RVO) for biofuels in 2014.
December 1 2014
On March 31, 2014, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (“BIO”) sends letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) expressing concerns with the Agency's decision to halt its petition process for new renewable fuel pathways.
October 29 2014
RE: Proposed 2014 RFS Volumetric Blending Requirements On behalf of the more than 35 advanced biofuel companies listed below, we are writing to express our concern about a recently release drafted of the proposed 2014 RFS volumetric blending requirement. While the official proposed rule has not been released, it is clear that a number of key issues are under consideration at the present time.
September 23 2014
Inaction on the 2014 RFS regulatory rule will lead to increased GHG emissions of 21 million metric tons CO2 equivalent. The increased GHG emissions are equal to putting an additional 4.4 million cars on the road or opening 5.5 new coal-fired power plants. The “blend wall” should not be a consideration for setting the RFS, because the United States is using more transportation fuel in 2014 than previously projected.

Press Releases

August 24 2015
At its tenth anniversary, the Renewable Fuel Standard's requirement to substitute biofuels for fossil fuels has displaced nearly 1.9 billion barrels of foreign oil and reduced associated carbon emissions by 589.3 million metric tons.
July 27 2015
BIO’s comments make clear that if the agency does not correct its course on the program, it will continue to undermine the goals and requirements of the statute, undercut investment in advanced and cellulosic biofuels, and raise greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation fuel sector.
June 1 2015
BIO  thanks Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack for making available grants to states that invest in expanding infrastructure for biofuels.
May 29 2015
EPA has again proposed rules for the Renewable Fuel Standard that will continue to chill investment in the advanced biofuel sector and increase climate changing emissions.
May 19 2015
It is imperative that the Environmental Protection Agency gets the administration of the annual Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) renewable volume obligations (RVOs) back on track, BIO wrote today.