This week, the White House released its blueprint for a secure energy future and outlined a comprehensive energy policy that cuts U.S. oil dependence by one-third. During his speech at Georgetown University, President Obama stressed the importance of using renewable biofuels - not just corn ethanol, but biofuels made from switchgrass, wood chips and biomass - to achieve this goal.
Michael McAdams, president of the Advanced Biofuels Association (ABFA), reacted positively to the President's plan, saying, "I am hopeful the energy security blueprint the President unveiled today will keep America on track with his earlier challenge to our nation and to Washington of meeting 'our generation's Sputnik moment.'"
President Obama stated in his speech, "There's no reason we shouldn't be using these renewable fuels throughout America. That's why we're investing in things like fueling stations and research into the next generation of biofuels. Over the next two years, we'll help entrepreneurs break ground on four next-generation biorefineries - each with a capacity of more than 20 million gallons per year. And going forward, we should look for ways to reform biofuel incentives to make sure they meet today's challenges and save taxpayers money."
Other U.S. biofuels industry leaders reacted with cautious optimism: "America's ethanol industry stands ready to work with the Obama Administration and Congress to transform current biofuel policies to reflect the evolving nature of the industry and the fiscal concerns voiced by many on Capitol Hill," said Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen.
National Biodiesel Board (NBB) leader Joe Jobe echoed Dinneen's positivity and resolve, "The NBB has every confidence that our membership is ready, willing and able to meet the nation's Advanced Biofuel goals in 2011."
McAdams, Dinneen and Jobe will join leaders of other U.S.-based bioenergy associations to discuss Obama's energy plan and other critical legislative and regulatory issues May 3 at the 2011 International Biomass Conference & Expo. Joining them will be Mary Rosenthal - Executive Director of the Algal Biomass Organization, Charlie Niebling - Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Biomass Thermal Energy Council, Robert Cleaves - President and Chief Executive Officer of the Biomass Power Association and Norma McDonald - Vice Chair of External Affairs and Co-Chair of the Legislative and Regulatory Affairs of the American Biogas Council. The panel will follow a keynote presentation from Richard Newell, Administrator of the U.S. Energy Information Administration.