Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor delivered the keynote address at Iowa Renewable Fuels Association’s virtual summit.
In her speech at the Annual Iowa Renewable Fuel event, Skor reviewed the successes and challenges faced by the ethanol industry over the last year and outlined the opportunities ahead for the biofuels industry to work with a new administration as a key voice on President Biden’s climate initiatives and rebuilding the rural economy.
On working with the Biden Administration, she said: "We look forward to working with this White House to ensure they keep those promises, and restore strength to the rural economy, while addressing our country’s climate goals. But President Biden will need to act swiftly and boldly to meet the current challenges facing rural communities. If he is successful, it will send an unmistakable signal that we have a sincere partner in the White House.”
On upholding the RFS, Skor said the organisation won a major battle at the end of the Trump administration against gap-year exemptions.
She added: “There are still 65 small refinery exemptions sitting at the EPA. And we won’t let up until the SRE pipeline is shut down, just as the 10th Circuit Court intended. On this front, our aim remains simple – the RFS of tomorrow should be stronger and more forward-leaning than the RFS of the past.”
In her remarks on ethanol’s climate benefits, Skor referenced a new report led by David MacIntosh, chief science officer of Environmental Health and Engineering and adjunct professor of Environmental Health at Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health, that found that greenhouse gas emissions from corn ethanol were 46% lower than petrol, up from the estimated 39% done by previous modelling.
She said: “An effective climate strategy must recognise the critical role biofuels play in decarbonising our transportation sector and bring our farmers into the fold in addressing the climate crisis. It must build on the success of the RFS, increase the use of low-carbon biofuels, and expand market access for higher blends. And the modelling behind that strategy must reflect the best available science.”
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