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December 9, 2013

RFS Under Attack

For more information on Newsline, contact: Cyndie Sirekis, Director, News Services, American Farm Bureau Federation, cyndies@fb.org.

 
The Renewable Fuels Standard has been under the microscope recently. The Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed scaling it back and now the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing about renewable fuels. American Farm Bureau economist Matt Erickson says backtracking on the RFS is a bad move by the administration. AFBF’s Johnna Miller has the story.
MillerIf you could make your own fuel, you’d probably do it, right? Well, the United States can and does make its own renewable fuel. The Renewable Fuels Standard is a law that calls for a certain amount of renewable fuels to be mixed into the motor vehicles fuel supply. It aims to move the country toward greater energy independence. But American Farm Bureau economist Matt Erickson says a recent proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency would cut back on the policies that are making that happen.
EricksonEPA released their proposed volume requirements for 2014 and what they did was they set the fuel-blending requirement overall for total renewable fuels to 15.52 billion gallons which was one billion gallons less than 2013 and about 2.6 billion gallons below what was set within the Renewable Fuels Standard law.
MillerThat means the EPA is suggesting we backtrack. Instead of adding more renewable fuels to the fuel supply – which leads to a cleaner burning fuel – it’s recommending we add less.
EricksonWe are greatly disappointed in EPA’s proposed volume requirements. They’re taking a step backwards and they’re really taking away what the true meaning was for the Renewable Fuels Standard. Since the Renewable Fuels Standard was put in place in 2007 we’ve seen crude oil imports decrease from 60 percent down to 40 percent.
MillerBut Erickson points out the renewable energy industry is still young, especially in the area of cellulosic biofuels, which are made out of things like corn cobs, switchgrass and algae.
EricksonThis really stalls new investments to cellulosic biofuels and it really introduces now tremendous uncertainty within a market that’s still developing.
MillerThe EPA is accepting comments about their proposal until January 28th. You can believe the American Farm Bureau and many others in agriculture will have something to say. Johnna Miller, Washington.

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