POET CEO comments on Low Carbon Fuel Standard
Biased regulation would stifle industry’s efficiency, environmental improvements
Rapid and ongoing advancements in ethanol’s efficiency would be severely hindered under currently proposed rules for California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), POET CEO Jeff Broin stated Wednesday in comments submitted to the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
CARB is set to vote today on regulations aimed at lowering the state’s carbon emissions. However, the inclusion of an unproven theory known as Indirect Land Use Change calls the fairness of the proposed regulations into question.
“The ethanol industry has made tremendous strides in not only helping our environment, but reducing our reliance on foreign oil and helping our nation’s economy,” Broin said. “CARB should refrain from derailing those benefits with a well-intentioned but significantly flawed policy.”
The ethanol industry supports an accounting of carbon emissions that includes all direct effects from all fuels, including direct land use change. It does not support the selective inclusion of indirect effects as CARB is proposing. Their proposal unfairly penalizes ethanol for indirect effects without considering the indirect effects of any other fuel.
“POET is not requesting special preference for our products,” Broin said. “We are simply requesting the level playing field promised as part of the LCFS and that CARB hold ethanol to the same carbon accounting standard as petroleum, hydrogen, electricity, and all other fuels.”
A recent study by the University of Nebraska - Lincoln shows that ethanol plants built in the last five years offer twofold to threefold greater greenhouse gas reductions than the industry at large thanks to improvements in processes and technology. While all ethanol is an improvement over gasoline, the study shows those newer plants, which are now approximately 60 percent of the nation’s capacity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 59 percent.
Jeff Broin’s full comments are attached.
POET, the largest ethanol producer in the world, is a leader in biorefining through its efficient, vertically integrated approach to production. The 20-year-old company produces more than 1.54 billion gallons of ethanol annually from 26 production facilities nationwide. POET recently started up a pilot-scale cellulosic ethanol plant, which uses corn cobs as feedstock, and will commercialize the process in 2011. For more information, visit www.poet.com.
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