Monday, October 29, 2007

Fw: PRESS RELEASE: Fueling Oregon with Sustainable Biofuels - A new report from the Oregon Environmental Council

For Immediate Release

For More Information:

Oregon Environmental Council

Jeremy Graybill, Communications Director

503-222-1963 ext. 111

Fueling Oregon with Sustainable Biofuels

A new report from the Oregon Environmental Council examines the opportunities

and pitfalls associated with Oregon biofuels production

PORTLAND, Ore.—Oct. 29, 2007—In July 2007, Oregon became the first state in the nation to provide incentives for the local production of feedstocks for alternative, renewable fuels. The state also enacted a renewable fuels standard requiring the blending of biodiesel and ethanol in all diesel and gasoline sold at the pump. Fueling Oregon with Sustainable Biofuels, a new report from the Oregon Environmental Council, discusses how to best seize this historic opportunity through responsible, sustainable practices.

Oregon's diverse agricultural industry and strong environmental policy framework make it uniquely placed to become a leader in the development of sustainable biofuels. The establishment of incentives and a stable market for biofuels empowers Oregon farmers and businesses to develop these renewable fuels locally. In many cases, renewable fuels development can foster new Oregon-grown industries and add an income stream to growers.

However, not all biofuels are equal from a sustainability perspective. Fueling Oregon with Sustainable Biofuels makes the case that biofuels can and must be produced – from "field to wheel" – with environmentally and socially sound practices. The report suggests ways to maximize the environmental potential of biofuels, from practices on the farm to practices in biorefineries. The report discusses the many different types of biofuels feedstocks feasible in Oregon and suggests which might be most beneficial from a social and environmental perspective.

To capitalize on Oregon's potential for producing clean, renewable fuels, the report recommends that policymakers and representatives of the biofuels industry adhere to the following principles:

  • Support only biofuels that reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a life-cycle assessment basis
  • Process biofuels with minimum fossil fuel inputs
  • Protect air and water quality
  • Grow biofuel feedstocks using sustainable agricultural practices
  • Conserve water
  • Protect biodiversity
  • Avoid conversion of native ecosystems
  • Support socially responsible and locally owned biofuels production
  • Provide consumer information

In the near-term, one of the most important steps the state can take is to adopt a Low-Carbon Fuel Standard, which would require all fuel providers to gradually reduce the greenhouse gas intensity of the fuels they sell. The Oregon Environmental Council hopes that Fueling Oregon with Sustainable Biofuels will provide the analysis and tools needed to help make Oregon a national leader in sustainable biofuels production.

Biofuels are only as sustainable as the agricultural and industrial processes that produce them. "Biofuels can clearly provide positive environmental benefits," said OEC director of programs Chris Hagerbaumer. "Oregon's goal should be to maximize those benefits and mitigate any negative environmental consequences of feedstock production and fuel processing."

NOTE: The report Fueling Oregon with Sustainable Biofuels is available for download and reading online at

About the Oregon Environmental Council

The Oregon Environmental Council safeguards what Oregonians love about Oregon – clean air and water, an unpolluted landscape and healthy food produced by local farmers. For nearly 40 years we've been a champion for solutions to protect the health of every Oregonian and the health of the place we call home. Our vision for Oregon includes solving global warming, protecting kids from toxins, cleaning up our rivers, building sustainable economies, and ensuring healthy food and local farms. Find out more at


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