“No one country can do this alone.”

January 16, 2012 |

The following is adapted from remarks made by Biofuels Digest editor Jim Lane at the G’Day USA event in San Diego on January 13th, which focused on the development of trade in bioenergy, defense, and maritime sciences.

Australia and the US, two countries divided by a common language, but united in a common vision for the role that democracy and sustainable growth can play in the destiny of the Pacific Rim.

When it comes to the specific opportunities in industrial biotech and biofuels, the risks and costs are great, yet the opportunities and rewards are even greater.

This year, next-generation biorefineries will reach 1 billion gallons of fuel capacity, and biofuels as a whole will produce 30 billion gallons. But it’s only a start. We cannot relax now; we must work harder.

Because, in growing as fast as it has, the industry has frightened those who only believe in a failed yesterday of “fossil fuels alone, fossil fuels forever”. Whose tactics are the dissemination of fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

A fair go, that’s all that bioenergy needs. It is noble work, but it’s hard yakka, tough work.

It’s made easier by connecting brilliant technological minds to intrepid investors. That is the calling of any day in bioenergy, but in the Australian-US context it is a special opportunity and an imperative.

No two nations have so much to gain by transforming a tradition of friendship and co-operation into an engine of industrial opportunity through these alternative fuels.

In doing so, we will power our two economies, help our shared friends, baffle our shared foes, and heal our shared planet.

For Australia, in the cities, the high technology sector is an engine of high-paying, attractive jobs and foreign direct investment.

In regional Australia, biofuels can restore growth through the growing and harvest of feedstocks and building and operation of biorefineries.

In defense, biofuels add permanent value to the ANZUS alliance, by providing a sustainable, affordable, reliable and available source of fuel for the ANZUS fleets.

For the US, biofuels provide an opportunity to export technology, and gain access to new feedstock and fuel markets, and support the efforts of our friends to achieve energy security.

No one country can do this alone. We can and we must, do this work together.

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