A breath of innovation in the energy industry

Democrats, Independents and Republicans alike support a bill being re-introduced in the House today. It’s the Domestic Alternative Fuels Act of 2013 that, once passed, will push America closer to energy independence.

This act modifies the outdated Renewable Fuel Program of the Clean Air Act to allow domestic alternative fuel, such as natural gas, to be used to satisfy a portion of the required applicable volume of renewable fuel. Passing it is Congress’ chance to fix the error they made in 2007 when they held back America’s alternative fuels market growth by only allowing renewable feedstocks like corn to be used in fuel ethanol production.

This bill will help individuals and businesses across America. By allowing a broader range of domestic alternative fuel sources and feedstocks to be used in producing fuel ethanol, the Domestic Alternative Fuels Act of 2013 will help prevent spikes in food and feed prices. And by opening the door for other fuel sources to be used in producing fuel ethanol, this bill will create jobs and reduce America’s dependence on petroleum imports.

There are new, proven technologies since 2007. TCX® Technology is one that produces fuel-grade ethanol from natural gas developed by the company where I work. Natural gas-based ethanol is cheaper to produce than corn-based ethanol, can be produced at a mass scale and requires no government subsidies or tax credits.

Once the Domestic Alternative Fuels Act passes, the U.S. transportation fuel market will have the ability to use ethanol produced from readily available and inexpensive natural gas. The shale gas revolution helps ensure the supply of natural gas will remain abundant across America, and the price is expected to remain low.

As history proves, there will certainly be other discoveries and developments as organizations in America and around the world use their ingenuity to create new technologies. This bill will allow current new technologies to be used in the U.S. and encourage even more future innovation.

America does not need another bill that stifles competition or one that gives select industries an advantage. America must keep the alternative fuels upper hand. Passing this bill will boost America’s domestic energy economy, create new jobs in the growing energy industry, and move us closer to energy independence. The Domestic Alternative Fuels Act is a breath of ‘innovation fresh air’ for America’s future.

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About the author

				Mark Rohr is chief executive officer and chairman of Celanese Corp. When he’s not working or blogging, Mark enjoys cycling, sailing and fishing.				

There is one comment. Add yours.

  1. David Foster says:

    Celanese shareholder here. Totally agree that the food-burning requirement should be eliminated and nat gas should be allowed to count as an ethanol feedstock—-but what if the changes went even further, and there was NO ethanol mixture requirement whatsover? Are the economics of nat gas with the TCX process sufficiently good that refiners/blenders would incorporate ethanol into their product even if they were not required to do so?

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