Notions of Thanksgiving

By Anna Simet | November 20, 2012

As you are reading this, I am likely basking in the sun on the beaches of Playa del Carmen, Mexico. I probably won’t be eating any turkey this holiday, which is a smidgeon disappointing, but I will definitely make up for missing the glorious, calorie-packed, home-style meal with plenty of margaritas (however, it might be a little difficult to blame the mid-day siesta on tryptophan).

 In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I was mulling over what our industry has to be grateful for this year. Obviously it varies by sector and company, but first and foremost, the fact that the U.S. EPA decided not to kill the renewable fuels standard (RFS) was huge.

 On a side note, it seems some still aren’t ready to give up the fight, however. This morning I read that the National Council of Chain Restaurants was holding a press conference on Nov. 28 to unveil the findings of a report it commissioned, which it says investigates economic impact of the RFS mandate on the chain restaurant industry, commodity prices and the food supply chain. I don’t have to see the report to assume that it finds there are negative, unfair impacts, but that is the opposite finding of the EPA.

Moving along, we should also be thankful that Obama got re-elected. While you might have some differentiating views on more personal political subjects, he was the best choice for our industry moving forward; I think that’s the overall consensus.

 Our industry trade groups are another thing we should be thankful for. They bust their butts to get fair and equal treatment for each sector, to educate the public and policymakers, to push for supporting legislation…the list goes on. This includes, but is certainly not limited to, the Biomass Power Association, Biomass Thermal Energy Council, Advanced Biofuel Association, American Biogas Council and the Algae Biomass Organization.

 While we’re lacking a Farm Bill—and therefore reinstatement of energy title programs—I guess we can be semi-thankful that the versions passed by both the House and Senate did not kill them. While we obviously favor the Senate version with mandatory program funding, the House version would be much better than nothing at all. And not much has changed in the House and Senate with the recent election, so let’s keep our fingers crossed they get something done very soon.

 Last, I’m personally thankful to be part of an industry that believes so much in what it does (and is attempting to do). The more shows I go to, the more of you I chat with and interview and read about, I realize that without the heart and drive that so many of you have, we would be nowhere near where we are today.

 I sincerely wish you a happy and safe Thanksgiving.