POET CEO Jeff Lautt comments on RFS waiver request
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
SIOUX FALLS, SD (August 15, 2012) – POET CEO Jeff Lautt commented today on the recent filing for a waiver of the Renewable Fuel Standard:
"A Renewable Fuel Standard waiver would accomplish little in terms of near-term drought relief but have significant long-term effects on agriculture markets and those very farmers who are facing challenges today.
"There is flexibility in existing policy, as has been noted in ag economic research at Iowa State University and a recent analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. The fact that ethanol production has dropped 15 percent in response to the market is evidence of that. All users of corn, including ethanol producers, are readjusting to the current market conditions.
"Estimates show a 100 percent waiver would only lower corn prices by about 5 percent. It would have little effect on today's challenges. What it would do is create longer-term uncertainty in federal energy policy and agriculture markets, affecting farmers and progress in renewable fuel production, raising gas prices and increasing reliance on foreign oil.
"Additionally, the allegation that ethanol consumes 40 percent of the corn crop must stop. Ethanol plants produce high-protein animal feed that offsets corn and soybean use. As a result, ethanol's net use of corn is only 16 percent.
"Ethanol has provided many benefits to the U.S. by decreasing oil imports, revitalizing rural areas and offering a low-cost feed option. Undermining these benefits would be a poor response to the challenges presented by the drought."
POET, one of the world’s largest ethanol producers, is a leader in biorefining through its efficient, vertically integrated approach to production. The 25-year-old company has a production capacity in excess of 1.6 billion gallons of ethanol and 9 billion pounds of high-protein animal feed annually from its network of 27 production facilities. POET also operates a pilot-scale cellulosic bio-ethanol plant, which uses corn cobs, leaves, husk and some stalk as feedstock, and expects to commercialize the process in Emmetsburg, Iowa through its joint venture with DSM. For more information, visit http://www.poet.com.