Disappointment with RFS Proposal
Created by rrummel on 11/19/2013 1:53:46 PM

Ag Leaders weigh in

As the EPA proposes to lower the RFS requirement from the statutory level of 14.4-billion gallons to 13-billion gallons - many groups are disappointed. National Corn Growers Association President Martin Barbre says this recommendation is ill-advised and should be condemned by all consumers because it is damaging to the nation's economy. Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis says this proposed rule goes directly against the best interests of the U.S. and American consumers. The RFS is working - Buis says - so it doesn’t make sense to roll back a successful policy just because Big Oil stands to lose profits. If this proposal becomes final - National Biodiesel Board President Anne Steckel says the market would shrink, thousands of jobs would be eliminated and biodiesel plants across the country would likely close. Steckel says the proposal sends a terrible signal to investors and entrepreneurs that jeopardizes the future development of biodiesel and other Advanced Biofuels in the country. American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman says this proposal strikes a blow to conventional ethanol production - along with dampening prospects for advanced biofuels. Stallman says the intent of the RFS was to get more renewable fuels into the U.S. pipeline - moving beyond E-10 - but this proposal moves in the opposite direction. He says the ethanol industry needs stability and certainty. American Soybean Association President Danny Murphy says keeping the Required Volume Obligations target at a lower level for biodiesel - EPA will be limiting an industry that is supporting jobs, providing a valuable market for soybean farmers and lowering the price for protein-rich soybean meal used in animal feed.

National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson says the Administration needs to stay true to its word that it will tackle climate change. Johnson says the RFS is America’s only real climate change policy - and biofuels reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 30-percent compared to regular gasoline. Advanced Ethanol Council Executive Director Brooke Coleman says this is the first time the Obama Administration has shown any sign of wavering when it comes to implementing the RFS. Coleman says this is the oil industry taking one last run at trying to convince administrators of the RFS to relieve the legal obligation on them to blend more biofuel based on clever arguments meant to disguise the fact that oil companies just don’t want to blend more biofuel.

The Renewable Fuels Association says EPA doesn’t actually have the statutory authority to lower the total requirement by more than the total reduction in advanced and cellulosic. RFA says the blend wall also doesn’t qualify under the law as grounds for a general waiver of RFS volumes. By re-writing the statute and re-defining the conditions upon which a waiver from the RFS can be granted - RFA President Bob Dinneen says EPA is proposing to place the nation’s renewable energy policy in the hands of oil companies - which he says would be the death of innovation and evolution in motor fuel markets. The 25 x 25 Alliance says the proposed cutback for ethanol penalizes America's corn producers who are on the verge of harvesting a record crop - yet prices are down to lows not seen since the RFS was reauthorized six-years ago and falling below the cost of production. The Alliance says EPA slashing the corn ethanol requirement rewards an oil industry that refuses to use any of its record profits to develop infrastructure and market opportunities to facilitate the increased consumption of cleaner burning renewable fuels.

When all the facts are presented during the public comment period - Growth Energy’s Buis says he is confident it will be clear to everyone that the RFS is the most successful energy policy enacted within the last 40-years - and the final rule should be modified to allow the country’s energy policy to move forward. These groups look forward to engaging the EPA and others in the Administration in constructive dialogue as to the path forward and are committed to working with the Administration to ensure the progress envisioned by the RFS isn’t negatively affected by the 2014 RVO decision.