The Obama administration is firmly in the corner of domestic renewable fuels a top aide to President Obama told attendees of the Renewable Fuels Association’s Washington Legislative Forum held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
“One of those most promising [clean energy] industries has been American biofuels,” said Heather Zichal, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change. “Right now, domestic biofuel production is at the highest level ever. In fact, monthly production has increased more than 40 percent in the last three years. That means that biofuels are already reducing our dependence on oil, cutting pollution, and creating jobs across the country.”
Zichal also referenced the need to continue the industry’s expansion and evolution. “A year ago, the president set a goal of breaking ground on at least four commercial scale cellulosic or advanced biorefineries by 2013. That goal has been accomplished, one year ahead of schedule. Together, these projects will produce nearly 100 million gallons of advanced biofuels per year.”
Zichal continued, “[S]o last week, we were encouraged when the biofuels community stood behind EPA’s implementation of the Renewable Fuels Standard – which we think is critical tool to promote growth in renewable fuels production in the years ahead. At the same time, we’re taking steps to help level the playing field. Not only has the Administration supported repealing subsidies for oil and gas companies, the President announced yesterday that we’re taking new steps to crack down on manipulation in the oil markets to help protect consumers at the pump.”
While production is important, Zichal also underscored the Obama Administration’s commitment to infrastructure and deployment of renewable fuels and technologies. “Now, as we produce more biofuels, it’s also important that we focus on deployment. If you think back to when America was moving from horseback to rail and then cars and trucks, we didn’t say your own your own. We laid tracks and paved roads and built bridges to accelerate the transition. We need to make a similar effort on biofuels.”
Zichal highlighted the important work being done by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Energy to help bring growing volumes of renewable fuels like ethanol to the market. Specifically, Zichal noted the millions of dollars USDA has authorized to help install blender pumps capable of offering a wide range of ethanol blends.
“The Obama Administration has been a trusted and reliable partner with America’s growing and evolving ethanol industry,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “President Obama and his team appreciate the vital contributions already being made by existing ethanol producers and are committed to ensuring the commercialization of promising new ethanol technologies. The RFA looks forward to working with President Obama, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, and other administration officials like Heather to tackle the challenging issues of reducing our dependency on imported oil and creating American jobs.”
The full text of Zichal’s remarks can be read here.