Senate Ag Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow hosted a hearing on the economic benefits of advanced biofuels Tuesday and said advanced, non-food based biofuels are critical to growing the U.S. economy, creating jobs and lowering prices at the pump for American consumers. Stabenow says American companies are creating jobs and growing rural economies while producing advanced biofuels – which ultimately helps the U.S. become more energy independent and lower gas prices. Just in 2010 – the U.S. consumed nearly 138-billion gallons of gasoline. With biofuels – she says a family of four could have saved 794-dollars in 2010 – which USDA figures to be the cost of two to five-weeks of groceries. To continue growing the advanced biofuels industry – Stabenow says there have to be policies to support it. She says the ag committees and Congress took an important first step by passing the farm bill – but now certainty must be provided through a strong Renewable Fuel Standard and tax credits to support long-term investments in the nation’s energy future.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says advanced biofuels are on the move despite many obstacles and offer the U.S. a great opportunity. Grassley says homegrown biofuels have been a catalyst for economic development in rural America – which is why it’s frustrating that EPA is taking actions to scare off future investments in the industry. He says the hearing yesterday should send a clear message to EPA and others about the benefits of advanced biofuels for Americans nationwide.
Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis says he is grateful Stabenow took the time to investigate the true impact of biofuels on the U.S. economy. Buis says higher blends – such as E-15 – and next generation biofuels will help break through the blend wall and can further reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil while creating jobs and supporting farmers and consumers. If EPA reduces Renewable Volume Obligations – Buis says there will be a major impact on the infrastructure needed for higher blends and development of next generation biofuels – which could impede future economic growth for the entire industry.