Another biofuel coalition forms

By Bryan Sims | January 05, 2011

Posted Jan. 5, 2011

A newly-formed coalition, American Biofuels Now, has been formed in Florida with the mission to educate policymakers, media and consumers about the economic and environmental benefits of biofuels. The group has the backing of various biofuel advocates, members of the military and academia, energy activists, end users and advanced biofuel developers and producers such as LS9 Inc., Enerkem Inc., U.S. EnviroFuels, Biodiesel Industries Inc. and BlueFire Renewables Inc.

ABN founder Honey Rand told Biodiesel Magazine what distinguishes the new group from the other major trade organizations such as the Renewable Fuels Association or the National Biodiesel Board is that it will focus efforts on educating local media outlets and regional policymakers about the benefits of various biofuels, and how biofuels positively impact local and regional communities.

"Our mission is to put a local 'face' on biofuels within communities in Florida," she said. "What we decided that we're going to do is start in Florida and start with local media-The St. Petersburg Times, The Tampa Tribune, The Citrus County Chronicle, The Charlotte Sun Herald-and go to those editorial boards and reporters to talk about the impacts on a local level both economically and environmentally," she said, adding that ABN intends to eventually broaden its strategy out into local communities in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.

Rand, a member of the Florida Biofuels Board, said the Gulf of Mexico oil spill that occurred in April was what prompted her to spearhead the group's formation. "We have to do something to promote biofuels and to get people to understand that these are American biofuels, that they're American, made by American hands with American technology," Rand said. "This creates economic opportunity now and in the future. It creates a level of security that we don't presently have, and we haven't for many decades."

There are no financial or membership obligations to participate in the ABN coalition, Rand said, adding that it also doesn't hold biases toward specific biofuels or technology platforms from any of its current or would-be supporting members. "We're not going to pick winners and losers," she said. "That's for the marketplace to decide and forces well beyond us."

The ABN created a petition, a Facebook page and a place where people can sign on and tell their biofuels story from anywhere in the country. "We invite people to tell their story so that we can promote them," Rand said. "We're promoting those people that are participating and helping them to free us from foreign oil and to create green jobs."

To learn more about the ABN, click here.

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