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POET CEO Addresses Biofuels, EPS Rules

By Staff | May 7, 2009

SIOUX FALLS, SD – Tuesday, President Barack Obama issued a Presidential Directive creating a Biofuels Working Group in his cabinet and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued preliminary rules for the Renewable Fuel Standard. Jeff Broin, Chief Executive Officer of POET, had the following statement regarding the announcements:

“I applaud President Obama for his recognition of the important role ethanol production can play in the country’s future environmental and economic goals. The creation of this working group to develop the ethanol industry and infrastructure is exactly what’s needed to keep the country moving toward cleaner, greener fuels. The federal government can play an important role by encouraging the production of flexible fuel vehicles and the installation of blender pumps and other ethanol infrastructure.

“I am, however concerned about the preliminary rule issued by the U.S. EPA that included an indirect land use change penalty for corn ethanol. While many scientists have found significant flaws in the models used to calculate indirect land use change, I think the very concept is flawed and stems from a lack of understanding of ethanol and agriculture. Due to increasing efficiencies in our production facilities and the increased corn yields from the fields surrounding them, we don’t need new land to meet the Renewable Fuel Standard. That’s why we’re able to farm the same number of corn acres in this country that we farmed in 1976 and still meet all of the needs for food, feed and fuel. I am encouraged that the EPA Administrator has pledged to subject indirect land use change to peer-review because I don’t think the theory will hold up.

“Even with this unfair indirect land use charge applied to ethanol production, the EPA calculations find that ethanol produced from corn is better for the environment than gasoline. They also show that ethanol produced from corn cobs, the process we’re employing in our pilot production facility, reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than 110 percent in comparison to gasoline. Our plan to integrate that technology with our existing corn ethanol plants will produce a low carbon fuel that benefits our environment while creating jobs and decreasing our dangerous dependence on foreign oil.”

POET is a leading dry-mill ethanol producer that has integrated many of the production technologies listed in the EPA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued today. All but two of their 26 ethanol production facilities use raw starch hydrolysis, three employ combined heat and power (CHP), three have fractionation installed in the plant and one is powered by biomass and methane gas from a local landfill.