A law currently being considered by the Florida Legislature, HB4001, would repeal Florida’s Renewable Fuels Standard, which had been enacted in 2008. This move would end the state mandate for biofuels adoption, according to a press release sent on Tuesday by the Florida Biofuels Association.
Because of the Federal mandate for 10 percent ethanol in gasoline, the proposal will have little actual impact on the makeup of gasoline sold in Florida. What has the Florida Biofuels and Bioenergy Association concerned is the “message” this will send to the businesses who collectively invested $1 Billion in ethanol projects under construction in Florida.
“Just as our economy is starting to recover and just as Floridian’s are poised to have some home-grown energy products, and just as the Federal government prepares to move from 10 percent ethanol to 15 the Florida legislature considers action that will kill jobs, investment and local energy,” says Brad Krohn, Manager, Highlands U.S. Envirofuels, LLC, and Board member Florida Biofuels and Bioenergy Association.
According to the Association, Florida spends $1 billion a year importing transportation fuels. Rather than export money to import fuels, the Association suggests that biofuels, grown in Florida, would keep that money within the state, recirculating the money in the local economy.
“From research at our universities to agriculture (feedstock supplies) to equipment providers, engineers, designers, and the people working in plants on a day to day basis, we have hundreds of jobs now which will lead to thousands,” Krohn said. “We have seen it in the Midwest and we have the opportunity to create the same thing in Florida.”
“We need Floridians to realize the potential risk of this legislation,” said Honey Rand, Florida Bioenergy and Biofuels Board. “We might as well tell investors that virtually any other location is more desirable because Florida won’t even support the industries that they’ve invested in. That’s just crazy.”
The Association urges Floridians to call their legislators, “and tell him or her that we need energy independence for the United States and for Florida”. Instead the legislators should act to support SB320.
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