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BIO Strongly Opposes RFS Waiver Requests in Comments to EPA

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Any waiver of the RFS would have little to no effect on corn prices, but would certainly harm biofuel producers and biotechnology companies across the United States, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) said today in official comments to the Environmental Protection Agency on the requests by governors of several states for a waiver of America’s Renewable Fuel Standard.

BIO’s letter to EPA states:

“While waiving RFS requirements in the relevant time period would have little to no impact on the economy of a State, a region or the United States, it would cause severe harm to biofuel producers and biotechnology companies across the United States, including those in the states submitting petitions. The petitions, as presented for comment, fail to demonstrate that continued implementation of the RFS would severely harm the economy or the environment of a State, a region, or the United States as a whole during the waiver period.”

The letter cites two recent studies – the first by researchers at Purdue University and another from the University of Missouri’s Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute – that demonstrate a waiver of the RFS cannot undo the economic harm already caused by the drought. BIO’s letter states:

“The request by petitioners not only fails to demonstrate that the RFS itself is causing severe harm to the economy or environment of a State, a region or the United States, but it essentially amounts to a request that EPA redistribute the economic harm caused by the drought to both benefit and harm other industries. It is not EPA’s job to redistribute the loss caused by the drought regardless of the relative size of the industries harmed and benefited.”

The letter concludes:

“The stability and growth of the entire biofuels industry depends on the continued and predictable implementation of the RFS to meet the policy’s overall goals of expanded production and use of renewable fuels in the transportation sector.

“A waiver of the RFS would have a significant negative impact on investments in advanced biofuels. The RFS and EPA’s consistent implementation of the law is the fundamental policy driver for the continued development of U.S. biofuels, particularly advanced and cellulosic biofuels. It provides the industry and investors confidence that if they can produce commercial volumes of advanced and cellulosic biofuels, the RFS will ensure market access for those types of fuels. Waiving the RFS would cause great investment uncertainty, thus harming the nascent advanced and cellulosic industries which depend on it for survival.”

About BIO

BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIO produces BIOtechNOW, an online portal and monthly newsletter chronicling “innovations transforming our world.” Subscribe to BIOtechNOW.

Upcoming BIO Events

BIO Investor Forum
October 9-10, 2012
San Francisco, CA

Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy
October 10-12, 2012
Vancouver, Canada

The BIO Convention in China
October 24-25, 2012
Shanghai, China

BIO IP Counsels Committee Fall Conference
November 12-14, 2012
Charleston, SC

BIO Asia International Conference
January 29 – 30, 2012
Tokyo, Japan

BIO CEO & Investor Conference
February 11 – 12, 2012
New York City, NY

BIO International Convention
April 22 – 25, 2012
Chicago, IL

Biotechnology Industry Organization
Paul Winters, 202-962-9237

Source: Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)