The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today expressed its disappointment that the Florida legislature passed and Gov. Rick Scott (D-Fla.) signed HB 4001, repealing the state’s Renewable Fuel Standard. The law had required that on-road transportation fuel sold in the state contain between 9 and 10 percent renewable fuel from biomass.
“Florida’s repeal of its RFS sends a chilling message that companies developing advanced biofuel and other biotechnology innovations are unwelcome in the state,” said Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section. “Florida has been on the cutting edge in research and development of cellulosic and algae biofuels, as well as new crops for advanced biofuels, such as energy cane. Undermining the state’s market for biofuels will discourage further development within the state, potentially driving out innovation, investment and jobs.”
“Companies have invested more than $215 million in Florida over the past five years to develop commercial-scale advanced biofuel projects. These projects have generated nearly 1,000 high skill new jobs in the state,” Erickson continued. “Florida’s bioscience industry has monitored the state’s commitment to policies that drive investment and development of new industries. Florida’s biotech sector comprises more than 5,100 companies that employ more than 78,000 Floridians, contributing to the state’s job growth over the past decade. Biotech companies provide higher than average wages (about $30,000 above the average) to well-educated and highly skilled workers. A significant number of those companies and people are focused on biotech solutions to improve agricultural productivity and growing new crops for energy.”