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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Renewable Energy Can Provide Economic Stimulus, BIO Says

Renewable Energy Can Provide Economic Stimulus, BIO Says

WASHINGTON--Dec 15 2008 --Renewable energy production can provide long-term economic growth and thousands of new green jobs for the United States, while helping to reduce reliance on oil and cut greenhouse gas emissions. The Biotechnology Industry Organization today called on Congress to include support for biorefineries, biobased materials, and energy crops in economic stimulus legislation.

Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section, said, “Congress has an opportunity to ensure that the United States’ economic recovery is both financially and environmentally sustainable. Investment in advanced biofuels, biobased materials, and energy crops can produce thousands of new jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity. These investments can also help the United States reduce its dependence on oil and its emissions of greenhouse gases.

“A cellulosic biorefinery that produces both advanced biofuels and biobased products could create as many as 2,200 new jobs and increase economic activity by more than $1 billion. Including support for new biorefineries as well as energy crop producers in economic stimulus legislation would promote construction of dozens of new biorefineries.”

Specific proposals to stimulate the economy and employment through commercialization of advanced biofuels and biobased products include:
Extend the Cellulosic Biofuel Production Tax CreditUnder current law, the production tax credit for cellulosic biofuels is available through 2011, but only a small number of commercial cellulosic facilities are expected to be placed in service by that time. This is a significant impediment to additional investment in this industry at a time when the drop in crude oil prices has further increased the challenge of commercialization. Increase Funding for Biomass RD&D and Biorefinery ConstructionUSDA and Department of Energy programs to support research and development as well as construction of biorefineries have provided real benefits in helping commercialize cellulosic biofuels and biobased materials. A funding increase for these programs could accelerate technological developments and attract capital investment necessary to bring large volumes of cellulosic biofuels to the market within the next five years. Create a Production Tax Credit for Biobased MaterialsAdvanced biobased materials, such as biobased plastics and renewable chemicals, reduce dependence on oil and greenhouse gas emissions by substituting biomass for petroleum. However, biobased materials are not currently incentivized in the tax code. Increase Funding for USDA Biobased Markets ProgramThe USDA’s Biobased Markets Program is intended to accelerate the commercialization of biobased products through a USDA Certified Biobased Labeling program and procurement program. Additional funding can speed implementation of the program and help develop the fledgling biobased products market. Fast Track the Biomass Crop Assistance ProgramThe Biomass Crop Assistance Program helps farmers to establish, maintain, harvest, collect, store and transport next-generation energy crops. The program is critical to developing supply chains for advanced cellulosic biorefineries. The Advanced Biofuels & Climate Change Information Center presents the latest commentary and data on the environmental, greenhouse gas and other impacts of biofuel production. Drop in and add your comments, at http://biofuelsandclimate.wordpress.com/.


BIO represents more than 1,200 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world.

Contacts Biotechnology Industry Organization
(BIO)Paul Winters, 202-962-9237pwinters@bio.orgwww.bio.org

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