Global Renewable Fuels Alliance

Global Renewable Fuels Alliance

June 16, 2010 10:55 ET

Oil Spill Reality Check: 60,000 Reasons to Grow Beyond Oil

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 16, 2010) - U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's announcement that the BP oil well has been leaking up to 60,000 barrels per day is a wake-up call to grow beyond oil says the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance (GRFA), which represents the major renewable fuel producers around the world.

The GRFA estimates that the BP oil spill alone is equivalent to the production of two new large-scale sustainable and safe ethanol plants over a one-year period.

"The choice is very clear: more potential oil spills or growing beyond oil with safer cleaner renewable fuels. The U.S. government's revised oil spill estimate amounts to 60,000 new reasons to grow beyond oil," said Bliss Baker, President of the GRFA. "We need to invest in more clean fuels not more clean-ups."

Based on the U.S. government's estimates, the leak has discharged over 536 million litres (140 m gallons) of crude oil into the Gulf. Today's typical large-scale plants found in the mid-west U.S. can produce up to 400 million litres per year (100 m gallons per year).

It is estimated that half of all new oil and gas reserves discovered in the past ten years have been offshore. "The risk to our oceans from oil disasters has never been greater," said Mr. Baker. "There is no doubt that growing our global biofuels industry today will prevent future offshore disasters." 

Global ethanol production is expected to hit 85.9 billion litres (22.6 b gallons) in 2010 or about 1 million barrels per day. In 2010 the ethanol industry alone will displace the need for over 370 million barrels of oil.

"The arctic is the latest frontier in offshore oil exploration where companies work in unbearable conditions in the search for new reserves. The potential for an environmental disaster in this fragile environment is infinitely greater than the Gulf of Mexico," said Mr. Baker. 

The Global Renewable Fuels Alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting biofuels-friendly policies internationally. Alliance members represent over 65% of the global biofuels production from 44 countries. Through the development of new technologies and best practices, the Alliance members are committed to producing renewable fuels with the smallest possible footprint.

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