The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry held a hearing on advanced biofuels and the role developing non-food based biofuels are playing in creating jobs and strengthening the rural economy.

In her opening remarks, Chairwoman Stabenow stated, “To continue growing this industry, we need policies that support it. This Committee and Congress took an important first step by passing the farm bill with funding for the Energy Title, now we need to provide certainty through a strong Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and tax credits to support long term investments in our energy future.”

The Committee heard from several representatives from the biofuels industry, including former stock-car driver and NASCAR team owner Richard Childress, who discussed the success of the RFS and the successful use of ethanol and E15 in NASCAR with no reported engine conditions or increased maintenance issues stating, “The fuel has increased horsepower while decreasing emissions by 20 percent”.

Brooke Colemen, Executive Director of the Advanced Ethanol Council (AEC) discussed the importance of the RFS, tax incentives and the farm bill energy title for biofuels to create and maintain consistent policies to drive innovation in the biofuels sector. AEC focuses on the development and commercialization of next generation ethanol fuels such as cellulosic ethanol made from swtichgrass and agricultural waste.