POET CEO Responds to EPA's Renewable Fuel Volume Numbers for 2014
Proposed volumes would hurt drivers, cellulosic ethanol development
SIOUX FALLS, SD Nov. 15, 2013; POET CEO Jeff Lautt today responded to the EPA's announcement of the Renewable Volume Obligations for 2014.
“The EPA’s proposed renewable fuel volumes are well below what the ethanol industry is capable of supplying for American drivers in 2014, and POET plans to address the issue in detailed comments to the agency.
“America is looking at a possible record corn crop, and the opportunity to offer more affordable fuel options to consumers has never been better. At the same time, cellulosic ethanol capacity is coming online in a large part thanks to significant investment from grain ethanol producers such as POET. The proposed reduction from EPA is troubling, as it not only cuts grain ethanol use below the levels set by Congress, it cuts them to a level below the 13.8 billion that was met in 2013.
“Ethanol use this year remained strong even in the midst of a drought, primarily due to ethanol’s significant price discount to gasoline. Moving backwards from 2013 would not only cost drivers at the pump, it would undermine the positive impact ethanol has had in lowering tailpipe emissions and improving the greenhouse gas footprint of transportation fuel. Additionally, cellulosic ethanol capacity today is being built to take advantage of shared infrastructure, expertise and investment from grain ethanol producers. Its development and expansion depends on grain ethanol’s continued success.
“Our world has been beholden to the oil industry for a century, and ethanol has provided the first real alternative to gasoline in history. The Renewable Fuel Standard was created to provide a choice to consumers outside of oil-based fuel. We must seek ways to build on that work, not move backwards. Let’s be clear: This is about market share for our fuel supply. Under this rule, American drivers and American farmers lose and Big Oil wins.”
POET, one of the world’s largest ethanol producers, is a leader in biorefining through its efficient, vertically integrated approach to production. The 25-year-old company has a production capacity in excess of 1.6 billion gallons of ethanol and 9 billion pounds of high-protein animal feed annually from its network of 27 production facilities. POET also operates a pilot-scale cellulosic bio-ethanol plant, which uses corn cobs, leaves, husk and some stalk as feedstock, and expects to commercialize the process in Emmetsburg, Iowa through its joint venture with DSM. For more information, visit http://www.poet.com.