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BIO raises objections to Florida’s repeal of RFS

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The Biotechnology Industry Organisation (BIO) has outlined it disapproval in regards to the repeal of Florida’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The law had previously required that on road transportation fuel sold in the state contain 9 – 10% renewable fuel from biomass.

Brent Erikson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental section, has suggested that the repeal sends a ‘chilling message’ to companies developing advanced biofuel and other biotechnological innovations, implying that these firms are unwelcome in the state.

Whereas previously Florida has been on the cutting edge of research and development of cellulosic and algae biofuels, as well as new crops for advanced biofuels, the overturn of the RFS may undermine this innovation.

Investment and jobs may also be threatened. Companies have invested more than US$ 215 million in Florida over the past five years to develop advanced biofuel projects. These projects have generated nearly 1000 high skilled new jobs in the state.

Florida’s biotech sector comprises more than 5100 companies that employ more than 78 000 Floridians, contributing to the states job growth over the past decade. Furthermore, biotech companies provide higher than average wages (about US$ 30 000 above average, according to Erikson) to well educated and highly skilled workers. A significant number of those companies are focused on biotech solutions to improve agricultural productivity and growing new crops for energy hence the repeal could have detrimental impact on their operations.

Adapted from press release by Emma McAleavey

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