WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) today applauded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for clearing the way for the production of renewable fuel from giant reed (Arundo donax) and napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum). This decision directly affects North Carolina farmers and Chemtex International, a global renewable energy company seeking to create jobs by opening a new renewable energy plant in eastern North Carolina.
Butterfield said, “The EPA’s decision to allow production of renewable fuel from Arundo donax is a win for the people of eastern North Carolina. Investing in renewable fuel creates jobs and stimulates economic development while having the added benefit of lowering our carbon footprint and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.”
In May, Butterfield sent a letter to White House Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Burwell urging consideration of the biofuel feedstock Arundo donax as a pathway fuel under the Renewable Fuel Standard, and in the interest of job creation. Chemtex International is slated to develop a new 20 million gallon cellulosic ethanol plant in eastern North Carolina. The plant would bring more than $26 million annually and hundreds of jobs to an area with an unemployment rate of 9 percent.