Louisiana Enacts Advanced Biofuel Law
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on June 23 signed into law the Advanced Biofuel Industry Development Initiative, the most comprehensive and far-reaching state legislation in the nation enacted to develop a statewide advanced biofuel industry.
Louisiana is the first state to enact alternative transportation fuel legislation that includes a variable blending pump pilot program and a hydrous ethanol pilot program.
The legislature found that the proper development of an advanced biofuel industry in Louisiana requires implementation of feedstock other than corn, decentralized network of manufacturing facilities, and market expansion.
"The Advanced Biofuel Industry Development Initiative" was co-authored by 27 members of the Legislature. The original bill was drafted by Renergie, Inc. Reflecting on the signing of HB1270 into law, Brian J. Donovan, chief executive officer of Renergie, Inc. said, "I am pleased that the legislature and governor of the great state of Louisiana have chosen to lead the nation in moving ethanol beyond being just a blending component in gasoline to a fuel that is more economical, cleaner, renewable, and more efficient than unleaded gasoline."
The initiative further states that "The commissioner of administration shall not purchase or lease any motor vehicle for use by any state agency unless that vehicle is capable of and equipped for using an alternative fuel that results in lower emissions of oxides of nitrogen, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, or particulates or any combination thereof that meet or exceed federal Clean Air Act standards."
The development of an advanced biofuel industry will help rebuild the local and regional economies devastated as a result of hurricanes Katrina and Rita by providing:
*increased value to the feedstock crops which will benefit local farmers and provide more revenue to the local community;
*increased investments in plants and equipment which will stimulate the local economy by providing construction jobs initially and the chance for full-time employment after the plant is completed;
*secondary employment as associated industries develop due to plant co-products becoming available at a competitive price; and
*increased local and state revenues collected from plant operations will stimulate local and state tax revenues and provide funds for improvements to the community and to the region.
Renergie was formed on March 22, 2006 to raise capital to develop, construct, own, and operate a network of 10 ethanol plants in the parishes of Louisiana that were devastated by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Each ethanol plant will have a production capacity of 5 million gallons per year of fuel-grade ethanol. Renergie's "field-to-pump" strategy is to produce non-corn ethanol locally and directly market non-corn ethanol locally.
On Feb. 26, Renergie was one of eight recipients to share $12.5 million from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Renewable Energy Technologies Grants Program. Renergie received $1,500,483 (partial funding) in grant money to design and build Florida's first ethanol plant capable of producing fuel-grade ethanol solely from sweet sorghum juice.