Industry reacts to re-election of President Obama

By Holly Jessen | November 07, 2012

Members of the ethanol industry are extending their congratulations to President Barack Obama, who will go on to a second term in the White House.

Novozymes said the company and its more than 1,000 U.S. employees were ready to help turn Obama’s renewable energy plans into action, with biofuels as a key part of that plan. “Americans kept $50 billion in the United States thanks to domestic, renewable fuel in 2011—creating careers, protecting our environment and improving our security. That’s why Novozymes and its partners already invested more than a billion dollars to commercialize advanced biofuel—and we’re making fuels from a variety of sources, including household trash,” said Adam Monroe, president of Novozymes North America. “We appreciate President Obama’s support for the renewable fuel standard; it’s forward-thinking, long-term policy like the RFS which keeps private investment flowing. We’re set to work with his Administration to help keep the RFS strong.”

Growth Energy said in a statement that it was looking forward to continuing to work with Obama as well as the 113th Congress, both re-elected and new members. “The ethanol industry appreciates the support of President Obama and his administration over the last four years and we look forward to furthering our work with them, continuing to produce a cleaner burning, home-grown renewable fuel,” said Tom Buis, CEO.

Growth Energy’s post-election goals include expanding market access to biofuels, including through E15, and defending the RFS. “The renewable fuels industry creates jobs at home that cannot be outsourced, spurs investment in America and revitalizes rural economies, produces a cleaner burning fuel and reduces our dangerous dependence on foreign oil, while providing consumers savings at the pump,” he said.

Poet LLC also chimed in, with a statement from CEO Jeff Lautt. “The important role of renewable fuel in our nation’s economy, national security and environment was evident throughout this year’s campaigns from both sides of the aisle, and the fact that so many of our nation’s elected officials recognize that makes me optimistic for the future of the biofuels industry,” he said.

Lautt pointed to comments previously made by Obama which pinpointed biofuels as an important part of reducing the country’s dependence on foreign oil as well as creating jobs. He also said Poet looked forward to continued support for the RFS as well as working with new and returning members of Congress. 

On the policy front, Brooke Coleman, executive director of the Advanced Ethanol Council, said the industry was in good shape with Obama’s re-election. “The Obama Administration’s support for the RFS, and the farm bill energy title programs that enable it, has been unwavering,” he said. “It is clear that the administration understands the pitfalls of changing the rules in the middle of the game and recognizes that the advanced biofuels industry is coming online notwithstanding ongoing challenges in the global financial marketplace.”

Moving forward, Coleman said an immediate goal was for Congress to extend the Producer Tax Credit and accelerated depreciation allowance for cellulosic biofuels—both of which expire at the end of the year. Long-term extensions are needed for both. In 2013, Coleman said there are two priorities, first, defending the RFS and removing the bias in favor of fossil fuels. “Messing with the RFS is a backwards step,” he said. “Tax and market access is what we should be talking about during President Obama’s second term.” 

Bob Dinnen, president and CEO of Renewable Fuels Association has also spoken out to congratulate Obama on the election. "Ethanol has already helped reduce U.S. imports from Persian Gulf oil by 25 percent since 2000,” he said. “We are very proud of the 400,000 American jobs we support across the economy.  This is just the beginning of what biofuels can accomplish and we stand ready and eager to work with the President to expand the market for biofuels and bring the next generation online."