Granholm discusses DOE’s view of biofuels during budget hearing

Source: By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine • Posted: Monday, May 17, 2021

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm briefly discussed how biofuels will into the U.S. Department of Energy’s priorities under the Biden administration during a House Committee on Appropriations hearing on May 6.

The hearing was held by the Subcommittee on Energy Water Development and Related Agencies to consider the DOE’s fiscal year 2022 budget request.

During the event, Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., stressed the importance of renewable fuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel, to rural communities. “These fuels have the potential to reduce our emissions right now,” she added, and asked Granholm how she thinks biofuels will fit in the DOE’s and Biden administration’s blueprint for a net-zero future.

Granholm said the agency has a whole biofuels and energy team working on that issue, and stressed the role she thinks biofuels can play in reducing energy-intensive forms of transportation, including long-haul trucking, aviation and marine transport. “Electric vehicles obviously have emerged as this great technology—which they are for light duty vehicles like cars and SUVs,” she said. “But pickups, heavy duty transportation modes that really need more of an energy density of liquid fuels, that is where biofuels are going to play a critical role and that’s especially true in aviation and marine fuels. So, we think they have a huge role to play, especially in long-haul trucking, and other areas too…I feel very bullish about this bottom line.”

Granholm said the DOE sees biofuels playing a big role in the U.S. transportation sector. “We think those refineries can be producing, and should be producing, aviation fuels right now,” she said, stressing significant demand currently exists for sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). “This is very exciting and its not much to retrofit a biofuel refinery to be able to produce aviation fuel,” she added. “So, we have our team working on this, so I will keep you posted, because I think it’s very exciting.”

A full replay of the hearing is available on the House Committee on Appropriations website.

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