Canadian Renewable Fuels Association (CRFA)

Canadian Renewable Fuels Association (CRFA)

February 18, 2009 10:00 ET

A Joint Statement of the U.S. Renewable Fuels Association and the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association on President Barack Obama's Visit with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 18, 2009) - The following is a joint statement from Canadian Renewable Fuels Association President Gordon Quaiattini and U.S. Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen:

A New North American Consensus in Biofuels

While the first meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will focus on a variety of issues, there is little doubt that the economy, energy security and the environment will be among the major topics to be discussed.

As America and Canada look for ways to provide economic opportunity, reduce the impacts of climate change, and develop renewable energy sources, the role of biofuels in the energy plans of both nations is becoming increasingly important. Both nations are investing in alternatives to imported oil. For his part, President Obama is pushing for a comprehensive and ambitious plan to invest in alternative and renewable energy to diversify the North American fuel supply, address climate change, and create green manufacturing jobs and a new green economy. The biofuels industry has been in the forefront of creating green jobs for decades.

Paralleling efforts in the U.S. to expand the use of ethanol, the Canadian Parliament last year passed a Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requiring gasoline sold in Canada to contain an average of 5% renewable content, including ethanol, and 2% renewable content, including biodiesel, in the diesel supply.

We are pleased that in both our countries there is a strong policy recognition of the need to substitute cleaner, renewable fuels for oil imports and other finite hydrocarbons.

Renewable fuels provide a major source of economic opportunity. New green jobs will be created. Expanded production will equal increased industrial and commercial development. Perhaps most excitingly, renewable fuels will spark economic hope for our farm families and forestry sector - which will provide the feedstocks for new fuels that we harvest, rather than extract.

In addition, renewable fuels can help reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles, a leading contributor to climate change. For instance, newly published work in the Journal of Industrial Ecology notes that ethanol technology today reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 59 percent compared to gasoline. As new technologies are developed and current technologies improved upon, renewable fuel production and use will further help mitigate the dangerous consequences of global climate change.

Finally, based on a number of recent studies, it is clear that renewable fuels using both grains and cellulosic feedstocks are better for the environment than gasoline. A study by Sandia National Laboratories found that by itself the US could produce 90 billion gallons a year by 2030. Together with production in Canada, using the same type of analysis, North American biofuel production will be able to replace a majority of our oil imports.

Renewable fuels offer a tremendous opportunity for our respective countries, the western Hemisphere, and indeed the world to make tangible progress in replacing our fossil fuel use with cleaner, locally-produced renewable energy. The potential of renewable fuels technology to help provide energy, economic, and environmental security is something that must be aggressively pursued.

We commend both Prime Minister Harper and President Obama on their commitment to a renewable energy future. And as representatives of our nation's renewable fuels industry, we can proudly say that our industry is helping to lead the way.

Contact Information