This has been a tough year for the U.S. biofuels industry: drought curtailed corn starch ethanol production and investment in the industry shrank to its lowest level in nearly a decade. Headed into 2013, though, industry momentum appears to be regaining steam. Led by advanced biofuels, the potential for expanding biofuels production has improved dramatically as Washington offers clarity on key policy issues.
Last week, in a vote on partisan lines, the U.S. Senate extended support for the military’s efforts to scale up advanced biofuels production. As reported in Biofuels Digest, it approved an amendment offered by Senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina to repeal a section of the annual Defense appropriations bill that would have prohibited “the Secretary of Defense or any other official from the Department of Defense (DoD) from entering into a contract to plan, design, refurbish, or construct a biofuels refinery or any other facility or infrastructure used to refine biofuels unless such planning, design, refurbishment, or construction is specifically authorized by law.”