Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM) Chairman and CEO Patricia Woertz offered the following comment on the Obama Administration’s proposed rulemaking and other comments regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard:
“On May 5, the Obama Administration made clear that ethanol and biofuels will continue to be an important part of America’s fuel supply. By reaffirming the role biofuels will play in our energy future, the Administration provided the direction and policy consistency the industry needs to continue vital investments in infrastructure, capacity and technology.
“Two years ago, Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which expanded an existing Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) — the guideline that mandates the use of ethanol and other biofuels in the U.S. fuel supply. On May 5, in accordance with the Act, the EPA put forth a proposed rule that would determine how the environmental impacts of biofuels will be calculated.
“The proposed rule is an important step toward the implementation of the expanded RFS — which will increase the ethanol mandate from 10.5 billion gallons today to 12 billion gallons in 2010, and 15 billion gallons in 2015.
“To help meet this expanded demand, ADM continues our construction of large, highly efficient ethanol plants in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Columbus, Nebraska. Each plant is permitted to 400 million gallons per year; we are currently building each to 275 million gallons per year.
“In addition to its support for traditional corn-based ethanol, the Administration clearly envisions a biofuels future that continues to rely on corn. Beyond the 15 billion gallons mandated in 2015, the RFS calls for adoption of advanced biofuels. Of the 16 billion gallons of cellulosic biofuel mandated by 2022, the government estimates that nearly half of this production will come from corn stover — the stalks and leaves left behind when corn is harvested. In the coming months, ADM expects to make a final technology decision regarding a pilot plant that will convert corn stover into a renewable biocrude that can be processed into gasoline in a traditional petroleum refinery.
“As the EPA’s rulemaking process moves forward, we will be working to help ensure that the agency’s formula for calculating indirect land use change — which estimates biofuels’ impact on conversion of nonfarm land into farm land — is based on sound science. The concept of indirect land use change is quite new and rather imprecise, so we hope the Administration will move carefully as it determines whether and how to use it in environmental impact calculations.
“In addition to the proposed rule, the Administration demonstrated its commitment to biofuels as Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Energy Secretary Stephen Chu laid out more than $1.8 billion in government investments to help advance homegrown, renewable fuels.
“Two years ago, Congress worked in a thoughtful and bipartisan manner when they passed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. It is because of that deliberate effort that President Obama can continue to support the RFS as a cornerstone of America’s energy policy.
“Biofuels are good for the environment, for
energy security and for the American economy.
We at ADM are proud of the role that our
current ethanol and biodiesel, as well as our
advanced biofuels will play in America’s and the
world’s energy future.”