OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- The inauguration of Barack Obama as the new President of the United States yesterday has combined with Canadian efforts to spark a North American explosion in the growth of renewable fuels, says Gordon Quaiattini, president of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association.



"When President-elect Obama took the oath of office, a new North American consensus in favor of cleaner and greener renewable fuels was confirmed," says Quaiattini. "The Obama administration is set to super-charge the North American renewable fuels sector with an unprecedented investment in cleaner and greener energy sources, including ethanol and biodiesel. Combined with existing Congressional plans and the efforts of federal and provincial governments here in Canada, our sector is to experience explosive growth."



Last year in Canada, a Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was passed into law requiring that all gasoline sold in Canada contain an average of 5% renewable content, and 2% renewable content in diesel. Similar standards have been passed by a number of provinces, including Alberta and British Columbia in just the past few months alone.



In the United States, federal law calls for 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2022 - more than half of which must come from advanced renewable fuels such as cellulosic ethanol. As Obama said in his inauguration speech, "We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories."



"The Obama-Biden comprehensive New Energy for America plan will: Help create five million new jobs by strategically investing $150 billion over the next ten years to catalyze private efforts to build a clean energy future." In addition, Obama's new energy plan calls for all new vehicles to be Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFV) by 2013; FFVs offer owners the option of filling up with gasoline or higher blends of biofuels.



"These policies represent an unprecedented catalyst that will see demand for renewable fuels expand enormously in the next decade," says CRFA Chair Jeff Passmore. "This effort to help us grow beyond oil is a triple win: for drivers and all consumers, for our environment, and for hundreds of thousands of farm families and rural communities in North America."



Obama's incoming Secretary of Agriculture, former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, has long been an advocate for renewable fuels and supports taking further steps to increase the content of biofuels at the pump.



SOURCE: Canadian Renewable Fuels Association via Market Wire.