Using industrial biotechnology to manufacture plastics and chemicals from renewable resources can save much-needed American jobs, enhance U.S. economic competitiveness, and reduce reliance of foreign oil. The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today joined 32 renewable chemicals producers and allied trade organizations in asking Congress to include a production tax credit for biobased products in the “Domestic Manufacturing and Energy Jobs Act of 2010,” currently being considered by the House Ways and Means Committee, and the “Clean Energy Technology Leadership Act of 2010” (S. 3738), currently being considered by the Senate Finance Committee.
Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section, stated, “The United States has an opportunity to become the world leader in meeting growing market demand for renewable materials. Biotechnology developed by U.S. companies enables the production of plastics, chemicals, and fuels from renewable resources. These innovations could revitalize U.S. manufacturing and generate tens of thousands of jobs over the next few years. Half the value of a barrel of oil comes from chemicals, and this technology can help replace the approximately 30 billion gallons of oil used annually in the U.S. for chemicals and plastics. Therefore, deploying this technology could also improve U.S. economic competitiveness, while significantly reducing reliance on imported oil.”
The letters released today note, “The biobased products industry currently faces significant hurdles in reaching the economies of scale achieved by today’s petroleum-based products and in competing with the existing petroleum-based plastics industry. While U.S. policy has appropriately encouraged and supported the development of the biofuels sector to the benefit of rural economies, the environment, and national security, Federal tax policy has largely failed to recognize and foster the substantial benefits provided by non-fuel renewable chemicals and biobased products.”
Erickson concluded, “BIO and its member companies stand ready to deploy industrial biotechnology that will enable the U.S. to become the market leader in renewables. We ask Congressional leaders to create a level playing field for biobased products by granting them tax credits equal to those existing for other renewables.”
BIO’s white paper, Biobased Chemicals and Products: A New Driver of U.S. Economic Development and Green Jobs, shows that projected growth in the biobased chemicals and plastics industry, which are also produced in advanced biorefineries, can create thousands more jobs. While accounting for only 4 percent of the market, this sector already generates 5,700 direct jobs and is likely responsible for more than 40,000 jobs economy wide.
BIO represents more than 1,200 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIO produces BIOtech NOW, an online portal and monthly newsletter chronicling “innovations transforming our world.” Subscribe to BIOtech NOW.
The Advanced Biofuels & Climate Change Information Center presents the latest commentary and data on the environmental and other impacts of biofuel production. Drop in and add your comments, at http://biofuelsandclimate.wordpress.com/.
Full BIO press release to download here (PDF).
Source: BusinessWire, 2010-12-01.