25x'25 Alliance, American Council on Renewable Energy to hold panel discussion during 2012 Renewable Energy Conference & Exhibition in Washington D.C. Oct. 16-19 highlighting importance of RFS to biofuels industry

WASHINGTON , October 18, 2012 (press release) – The 25x'25 Alliance and the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) are taking a lead role today in drawing national attention to the economic, national security and environmental benefits provided by biofuels.

A special panel discussion at RETECH 2012 in Washington is featuring biofuels industry and renewable energy advocacy leaders. The three-panel event, "Keep the Winning Team on the Field," will be moderated by Ernie Shea, project coordinator for the 25x'25 Alliance. Shea will facilitate presentations from a team of highly respected and experienced speakers who will address among other topics, the important underpinnings of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a vital national program supported by both presidential candidates.

The RFS has come under attack in Washington this year, with governors of eight states requesting that EPA waive all or part of the standard. Biofuel advocates say a waiver will do little to reduce feedstock prices and will impair the progress being made by the industry to develop sustainable, next-generation transportation biofuels.

The initial panel, "Why Biofuels Matter," features Vice Admiral Denny McGinn (Ret.), president of ACORE, and Doug Durante, executive director of the Clean Fuels Development Coalition.

That session will be followed by a panel featuring Anne Korin, co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, and Bud McFarlane, former national security advisor to President Reagan and principal of McFarlane Associates, who will both address the national and energy security imperative of the RFS.

The last panel, which will address the latest developments in commercial and advanced biofuels, will feature Doug Berven, of POET, Mike McAdams, president of the Advanced Biofuels Association, and Chris Standlee, executive vice president of Abengoa Bioenergy.

The event at the Omni Shoreham Hotel underscores the history of the RFS, dating back to 2005, when President George W. Bush signed the standard into law, requiring the production of 32 billion gallons of various biofuels by 2020.

Today, the United States is fast approaching 16 billion gallons of biofuels that has reduced the nation's dependence on imported oil, and stimulates the U.S. economy by driving a $500 billion increase in America’s farm assets and supporting more than 400,000 jobs.

But that progress is being threatened by claims that the drought and shortage of field corn is driving up the cost of animal feed and causing serious hardships in those industries.

"It's important that those who are the frontlines of the biofuels industry share with stakeholders the critical role the Renewable Fuel Standard plays in boosting our economy and enhancing our national security," Shea said. "The 25x'25 Alliance is proud to play a key role in this important event."

Bill Holmberg, a long-time renewable energy advocate on Capitol Hill and chairman of ACORE's Biomass Coordinating Council, said today's session gives stakeholders a real opportunity to share their concerns with industry leaders over efforts to diffuse the RFS. "We're happy to give those with real investments in this industry to learn what they can do to help retain this important policy and protect what they have put into this singular effort to reduce our nation's dependence on foreign oil and create jobs," he said.

RETECH 2012 is the premier business, policy and technology conference and exhibition held annually for the entire renewable energy industry.

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