CRFS speakers ask for-and receive-federal support

By | January 10, 2007
Jeff Passmore, executive vice president of Ottawa-based Iogen Corp., summed up the Canadian Renewable Fuels Summit (CRFS) well with four overall themes: government leadership/policy, the importance of partnerships, the size of opportunity that biofuels offer and the policy drivers behind it.

The more than 500 attendees of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association event were happy to learn after the summit that the Canadian government did step up and create a renewable fuels standard (RFS) similar to one enacted in the United States in 2005 (see page 16 for more information). The Canadian version set up a 5 percent renewable fuels inclusion requirement to be met by 2010, and a 2 percent requirement specifically for renewable fuels in diesel fuel or heating oil by 2012.

The Saskatchewan government was aiming for a 10 percent inclusion mandate, but a 5 percent inclusion rate may be a stepping stone. To give an idea of the impact such legislation would have, Lionel LaBelle, president of the Saskatchewan Ethanol Development Council, said a 10 percent RFS would require 6 billion gallons of renewable fuels capacity, 600 million bushels of grains and oilseeds, 20 million acres of farmland, and would result in 8.4 metric tons of greenhouse gas reduction. Dividing these numbers in half may give an idea of what would more accurately occur with the newly enacted policy.

Nearly every speaker mentioned a need for federal government involvement in some way. Several, including Saskatchewan Premier Lorne Calvert, expressed disappointment that Minister of the Environment Rona Ambrose only addressed CRFS attendees via video. "We need to sit at the table together," Calvert said in reference to governmental leaders. David Aldous, president of Shell Canada; David Paterson, vice president of corporate affairs for General Motors Canada; Lorne Hepworth, president of CropLife Canada; and Dave Vander Griend, president of Colwich, Kan.-based ICM Inc., said government support at various levels was necessary to drive the renewable fuels industry forward in Canada.

The federal government must have heard that request.
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