POET's Policy Voice

Driving Clean Energy Innovation

As a world leader in renewable energy and bioproduct production, POET follows a simple mission:

  • Be good stewards of the land and our natural resources
  • Grow jobs, farms and investment in rural America
  • Drive clean energy innovation with biofuels and renewable alternatives to oil

Since 1987, POET’s team has continually led the way by creating sustainable technologies and introducing earth-friendly bioproducts that will better protect the health of our families and our planet – today and for years to come.

Among recent honors:

Good Stewards

Supporting Biofuels Growth Under a Strong Renewable Fuel Standard

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is America’s most successful domestic energy policy working to lower our dependence on foreign oil, keep our air clean and provide consumers with more affordable fuel options that boost engine performance.

Since its authorization under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and expansion under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the RFS has given low-carbon biofuels a chance to support local farms, revitalize rural communities and displace the fossil fuels that threaten our health and climate. In fact, it’s the only legislated decarbonization program ever to pass Congress and be signed into law.

That is why thousands of POET team members and farmer investors work hand in hand with our neighbors across the heartland to urge members of Congress and regulators at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to continue driving U.S. leadership in cleaner, more affordable homegrown energy to fuel a carbon-neutral future.

Benefits of the RFS & Low-Carbon Biofuels:

  • Promote job creation and economic growth
    Thanks to the RFS, ethanol is now blended into 98 percent of our fuel supply, and production of homegrown fuels supports economic growth across the heartland. POET operates a network of 28 production facilities across seven states, purchases five percent of U.S. corn and supports more 40,000 U.S. jobs.
  • Drive investments in innovation
    POET has partnered with farm families to meet climate change head-on by delivering clean, affordable biofuels. As proven by research at institutions like the University of Illinois at Chicago, continuous innovation in agriculture and biotechnology has driven unprecedented advances in efficiency. These include advances in corn kernel fiber-to-ethanol conversion, the co-location of cellulosic biorefineries with ethanol plants, diversification of co-products, new corn enzyme technologies and general industrial energy efficiency improvements.
  • Protect our climate and air quality
    According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, corn ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 46 percent or more compared to conventional gasoline. Higher blends of ethanol are also helping to reduce the need for toxic additives known to cause groundwater contamination, smog, asthma and cancer. These escalating climate benefits have been driven by rapid advancement in production technology and high-efficiency agricultural techniques. As a result, America’s farmers are now producing more food and energy than ever before, and they are doing it on existing cropland.
  • Lower dependence on foreign and ultra-high carbon oil
    Ethanol currently meets about 10 percent of our liquid transportation fuel needs. In fact, America has cut net oil imports by more than 60 percent since the RFS was enacted in 2005, and consumers are increasingly protected from the manipulation of oil prices that has become standard operating procedure for Russia and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
  • Expand fuel freedom and consumer choice
    The RFS gives American drivers an affordable, homegrown option at the pump. Ethanol blends can help consumers to save money when oil prices spike. And consumers are demanding higher volumes of biofuel because it costs less, boosts octane for better engine performance and displaces the dirty, cancer-causing components in gasoline.

Opening New Markets For U.S. Exports and Trade

Biofuels don’t just help farmers and ethanol producers stay competitive; they keep America competitive. In fact, ethanol has been the fastest-growing U.S. agricultural export over the past 10 years. In nations like China, India, Brazil, Mexico and South Korea, foreign leaders are seeking solutions to cut air pollution and displace chemicals in gasoline that form potent carcinogens when burned. Ethanol is the only alternative that can seamlessly and cost-effectively replace fossil fuels in today’s vehicles, and POET stands ready to help meet the growing global demand for carbon-cutting fuels.

That is why we support efforts to educate foreign policymakers about the demonstrated benefits of ethanol and its value to drivers all over the globe. We also support ongoing efforts to expand U.S. access to foreign markets and eliminate duties, tariffs and other protectionist trade barriers that prevent U.S. exports from reaching consumers overseas.

Resetting Renewable Fuel Standard Targets

The Clean Air Act grants the EPA authority to adjust volumetric targets for renewable fuels established by Congress under certain circumstances. The EPA is now actively considering plans to reset annual volumetric targets.

As the recognized global leader in biofuel production, POET remains committed to ensuring that any new volumetric targets proposed by the EPA serve to strengthen the RFS and continue to encourage future growth and investment in homegrown biofuels.

Expanding State Low-Carbon Fuel Standards

In an effort to reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, a number of policymakers are working at the state level to enact or strengthen Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) programs and other climate-related policies. These programs are designed to encourage the use of cleaner fuels with lower carbon intensity. For example, biofuels like ethanol, biodiesel and renewable diesel generated more than 80 percent of the credits in California’s LCFS program since 2011.

At POET, our environmental mission is central to who we are and what we do. Carbon-cutting renewable fuels, including mid-level blends like E15 and E30, are the most affordable, accessible and immediate way for states to achieve their climate and air quality goals. POET continues to partner with policymakers across the U.S. to ensure that the many environmental benefits of biofuels are appropriately recognized and accurately measured in each state’s LCFS program.

Promoting Cellulosic Innovation

The RFS also stimulates investment in cellulosic biofuels, such as those under development by POET. Cellulosic biofuels are made from inedible plant material such as agricultural residues, perennial grasses and wood chips.

By law, all cellulosic biofuels must reduce emissions by at least 60 percent, while some varieties reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 100 percent or even sequester carbon over time. This technology creates value from the waste portion of crops left in the field, while displacing even more carcinogens in gasoline.

Unfortunately, years of policy instability, rulemaking delays and discouraging market signals from the EPA have chilled investment and stymied growth. According to the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, regulatory uncertainty has frozen investments in advanced biofuels totaling an estimated $22.4 billion.

Despite these policy setbacks, POET remains committed to leading the effort to bring cleaner, advanced fuel solutions to market that will dramatically reduce carbon emissions. We encourage policymakers to support the intent of the RFS and enact policies that advance renewable fuels, boost rural economies and reverse the effects of climate change.

Policy Updates from POET

We’re grateful for the dedication and unwavering support of the elected officials who support POET’s efforts to revolutionize the future of renewable energy and secure America’s status as the world leader in low-carbon biofuels. Read more about the latest policy developments here:

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