Biofuels Groups Unite to Highlight RFS’ Role

National biofuels organizations and renewable energy advocates are joining forces in highlighting the role the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) plays in moderating gasoline prices, reducing foreign imports, and supporting the advanced and cellulosic biofuels sector.

In a letter sent today to Congressional leaders, the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), Advanced Ethanol Council (AEC), Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), Growth Energy, Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), 25x’25 Alliance and Energy Future Coalition are urging Congress to support the RFS and reject attempts to reduce, waive, or eliminate it.

“Today, ethanol is approximately $1.00 cheaper than gasoline and blending ethanol into U.S. gasoline saves consumers at the pump,” the groups said. A Center for Agriculture and Rural Development analysis found that from 2000-2010, ethanol reduced gasoline prices at the pump an average of $0.25 per gallon which meant consumers annually saved $34 billion dollars.

“Thanks in part to the RFS, U.S. oil imports fell below 50% in 2010 for the first time since 1997, and, oil imports stand as just 45% today. Ethanol accounts for 81% of all new domestic fuel production since 2005,” the groups stated.

“Because of the RFS, the advanced and cellulosic biofuels industry is now in the process of building new plants, innovating existing production facilities with emerging technologies, and introducing new product streams that will allow the renewable fuels sector to become more profitable, diversified and efficient,” the groups wrote. “Several billion dollars have been invested in advanced biofuels development with the expectation that Congress will stay the course with regard to its commitment to the industry and to the stability of the RFS. Efforts to amend or reform the RFS would send a chilling signal to a marketplace at just the time when the advanced and cellulosic biofuels industries are on the cusp of commercial production to help meet this nation’s energy independence and security needs.”

The groups concluded, “Anything short of full support for the RFS will exacerbate the problem of increasing gas prices and undercut the ethanol industry’s efforts to innovate and continue to deliver domestically-produced and affordable alternatives to foreign oil.”