Helping Trump Help Bioenergy
by Douglas L. Faulkner (Cleantech Conservative/Biofuels Digest) … The Trump Administration’s two recent Executive Orders on “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth” and especially, “Promoting Agriculture and Rural Prosperity in America” (March 28 & April 25, respectively), not only highlight renewable energy/fuels, but also explicitly seek input from the private sector on breaking down legislative, regulatory and policy barriers. (www.whitehouse.gov Presidential actions/Executive Orders)
A 10-Point Plant
So, my strong recommendation would be to give the President exactly what he really wants: a basic roadmap for a bioenergy renaissance. Surely, companies, separately or in league with their associations, can readily offer up creative suggestions to cut government-imposed red tape and for new, innovative assistance by:
- Focusing broadly on removing obstacles across the whole supply-chain, from feedstock production to feedstock logistics to conversion, distribution and end use.
- Considering changes in approaches by not only the prime federal civilian agencies for the industry (Energy, Agriculture and Environmental Protection), but also Defense, National Science Foundation, State, Food & Drug, etc.
- Digging into needed changes in their rule-making, funding practices and even fundamental priorities in farmer support; research & development; technical & commercial assistance; and, procurement programs.
- Building upon existing structures and frameworks with proven track records, like the 2000 Biomass R&D Act.
- Seeking new partnerships with academia; farmers; foresters; equipment, auto, truck, food and feed manufacturers; chemical, oil, gas and renewable energy producers; as well as state & local governments.
- Highlighting competition and technology innovation in the new biorefineries making fuels, power, chemicals, food and feed.
- Promoting the health and safety of American workers and rural communities, their quality of life and job prospects. Training and education should not be ignored.
- Pushing the Administration to use all its tools for: encouraging developing countries to modernize their agriculture sectors and boost biofuels production; and, lowering global trade barriers to exports of U.S. expertise, equipment and fuels.
- Overlaying environmental, economic and social sustainability collaborations on all recommendations to ensure the widest political support.
- Prioritizing those recommendations that give the most bang for the least buck the fastest. READ MORE