President Obama Voices Support for Biofuels Development and Continued Viability of Existing Ethanol Industry

Posted on June 15, 2009. Filed under: Advanced Biofuel, Blender's Tax Credit, Field-to-Pump | Tags: , , |

President Obama Voices Support for Biofuels Development and Continued Viability of Existing Ethanol Industry

GBC Asked to Contribute to Implementation of Presidential Biofuels Directive



WASHINGTON, June 1 /PRNewswire/ — In his effort to develop a national biofuels strategy to reduce America’s dependence on imported oil, President Barack Obama invited the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition to partner with key members of his Administration to achieve his vision for energy independence.

In a May 27, 2009, letter to Coalition Chair Gov. John Hoeven of North Dakota and Vice Chair Gov. Chet Culver of Iowa, President Obama praised the organization for its leadership in biofuels policy and public education. The President asked the Coalition to join him in implementing his Presidential Biofuels Directive, which was issued earlier this month. The directive outlined the President’s vision for biofuels development and his expectations for key cabinet and administration officials to lead the Administration’s biofuels initiatives. The President noted that the Coalition’s February 2009 recommendations helped form key points of the directive, and led to the President’s request for the Coalition to work with “members of my cabinet to implement the directive.”

In the letter, President Obama notes that his Administration is committed to the rapid development of cellulosic ethanol. “But this transition will be successful only if the first-generation biofuels industry remains viable in the near-term, and if we remove long-standing artificial barriers to market expansion…,” the letter states.

“We cannot achieve the promise of cellulosic biofuels if we do not continue to support and develop the first-generation corn ethanol industry and the infrastructure needed to distribute and deliver biofuels today and in the future,” said Governor Hoeven. “This is an endorsement for our continued commitment to the ethanol industry we have today, while moving forward with the development of emerging cellulosic biofuels technologies.”

“While the President’s acknowledgement of the Coalition’s leadership is certainly gratifying, we understand that there is both a great responsibility and a great challenge in helping the President implement his biofuels directive,” said Governor Culver. “The Coalition is up to the task. We are very honored, and look forward to working with the Administration to achieve the President’s vision for a transition from petroleum-derived transportation fuels to a sustainable, low carbon energy future.”

The President also noted the important economic development role that biofuels can play. “It is my hope that the Presidential Biofuels Directive will lead to new jobs, new businesses and reduce dependence on foreign oil,” he wrote.

“The governors in the Coalition have seen the profound and positive impact that first-generation biofuels are having on our state and local economies,” Governor Hoeven added. “They are the foundation for an even more robust and sustainable domestic energy industry that will enhance our nation’s economy and energy security.”

President Obama’s Letter to the Coalition can be viewed at:

The Coalition’s Letter and Recommendations to President Obama can be viewed at:

For fifteen years, the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition has provided national leadership on biofuels issues. The Coalition’s policy activities address all biofuels, including ethanol, biodiesel, advanced biofuels, co-products, and technologies yet to come. For more information, visit

About Renergie

Renergie was formed by Ms. Meaghan M. Donovan on March 22, 2006 for the purpose of raising capital to develop, construct, own and operate a network of ten ethanol plants in the parishes of the State of Louisiana which were devastated by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  Each ethanol plant will have a production capacity of five million gallons per year (5 MGY) of fuel-grade ethanol.  Renergie’s “field-to-pump” strategy is to produce non-corn ethanol locally and directly market non-corn ethanol locally. On February 26, 2008, Renergie was one of 8 recipients, selected from 139 grant applicants, to share $12.5 million from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Renewable Energy Technologies Grants Program.  Renergie received $1,500,483 (partial funding) in grant money to design and build Florida’s first ethanol plant capable of producing fuel-grade ethanol solely from sweet sorghum juice. On  April 2, 2008, Enterprise Florida, Inc., the state’s economic development organization, selected Renergie as one of Florida’s most innovative technology companies in the alternative energy sector.  On January 20, 2009, Florida Energy & Climate Commission amended RET Grant Agreement S0386 to increase Renergie’s funding from $1,500,483 to $2,500,000. By blending fuel-grade ethanol with gasoline at the gas station pump, Renergie will offer the consumer a fuel that is renewable, more economical, cleaner, and more efficient than unleaded gasoline.  Moreover, the Renergie project will mark the first time that Louisiana farmers will share in the profits realized from the sale of value-added products made from their crops.


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    Renergie created “field-to-pump," a unique strategy to locally produce and market advanced biofuel (“non-corn fuel ethanol”) via a network of small advanced biofuel manufacturing facilities. The purpose of “field-to-pump” is to maximize rural development and job creation while minimizing feedstock supply risk and the burden on local water supplies.


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