BIO asks for reauthorization of Section 9003 program in Farm Bill

By Biotechnology Innovation Organization | October 25, 2017

The Biotechnology Innovation Organization and 66 renewable chemical producers recently asked leaders of the House and Senate Committees on Agriculture to reauthorize the Farm Bill’s Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Manufacturing Assistance Program (Section 9003). BIO and its members also asked that Congress “fully and unconditionally allow renewable chemical standalone manufacturing facilities” to receive Section 9003 Program loan guarantees without requiring production of advanced biofuels and irrespective of advanced biofuels feedstocks.

The letter explains, “Renewable chemicals can also generate a high value relative to transportation fuels, which will provide economic stability for the construction of the entire biorefinery. Therefore, these renewable chemical standalone manufacturing facilities need to be constructed first and operated with innovative technologies to build the economic value to support advanced biofuels, which is a component in the biorefinery.”

BIO and the renewable chemical companies add, “Several renewable chemical startups and mature chemical companies are waiting to build their first-of-a-kind manufacturing facilities in the United States from homegrown biomass and technologies and will do so with the proper federal policy support. These renewable chemical manufacturing facilities will pay strong dividends in the future of U.S. chemical manufacturing and, in turn, they will improve the trade balance, maintain U.S. leadership in renewable energy and manufacturing, create thousands of high quality U.S. jobs, provide value-added crop for products, and reduce dependence on foreign oil.”

The letter concludes, “We respectfully request that the Committee strongly consider these recommendations and work to ensure standalone renewable chemical advanced manufacturing facilities technologies are not restricted in reaching full commercial scale, nor impeded by the need to produce any level of advanced biofuels. Moreover, we urge your Committees to provide stable mandatory funding for all the core energy title programs that will continue the development of biorefineries, positively impacting the biobased economy and creating thousands of rural jobs.”