Growth Energy CEO Tells Ag Summit: “Do Low Carbon Right”

ORLANDO, Fla. – Domestic, renewable ethanol can be a major contributor to job creation as well as cutting greenhouse gas emissions and reducing dependence on foreign oil, Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis told a summit of agricultural legislative leaders.

“We are poised to create as many as 136,000 jobs in the United States with one regulatory move – EPA agreeing to raise the blend wall to 15 percent, as we’ve petitioned them to do. We could create many more with the construction of ethanol pipelines and blender pumps, to distribute this renewable, low-carbon fuel to the consumer,” Buis told the 2010 Legislative Agricultural Chairs Conference in Orlando, Fla.

“When Congress passed the 2007 Energy and Independence Security Act, it decided that this nation must begin to take it domestic, renewable energy sources seriously. So Congress expanded the Renewable Fuel Standard, which mandates new levels of green, domestic fuels. But if states begin to erect regulatory obstacles that block the intent of Congress, such as the flawed Low Carbon Fuel Standard adopted by the California Air Resources Board, we will not be able to meet this objective,” Buis said.

“Growth Energy supports a national low-carbon fuel standard – if it is done right. Last year Growth Energy rolled out a proposal for a national low carbon fuel standard based on accepted science – not controversial theory – because ethanol is ultimately the only widely-available low-carbon fuel alternative to gasoline refined from foreign oil,” Buis said.

Earlier this month, Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuel Association jointly filed a legal challenge in U.S. District Court to California’s flawed Low Carbon Fuel Standard. The federal litigation charges that the California Air Resources Board ignores the intent of Congress by barring domestic ethanol from the California fuel market.

In a panel focused on renewable energy opportunities for the country’s rural economy, Buis outlined Growth Energy’s major priorities for 2010:

* Maintaining the current level of the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit, the so-called “blender’s tax credit,” as an important source of new jobs and economic growth;

* Retaining a federal tariff on imported ethanol made from Brazilian-subsidized sugarcane, in part because Brazil imposes a similar tariff on U.S.-made ethanol and in part because removing the tariff would mean losing thousands of U.S. jobs;

* Opposing any use of “international indirect land use change” – a controversial and unsettled theory – to impose unfair carbon assessments on ethanol, particularly in state low carbon fuel standards, but also at the federal level with the Renewable Fuel Standard.

About Growth Energy
Growth Energy is a new, proactive group committed to the promise of agriculture and growing America’s economy through cleaner, greener energy. Growth Energy members recognize America needs a new ethanol approach. Through smart policy reform and a proactive grassroots campaign, Growth Energy promotes reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expanding the use of ethanol in gasoline, decreasing our dependence on foreign oil, and creating American jobs at home