Comments explain the unnecessary nature of a waiver and highlight inaccuracies used to justify it.
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Growth Energy will officially file its comments with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in response to the waiver of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requested by a handful of governors.
“There is simply no justification for waiving the RFS,” stated Tom Buis CEO of Growth Energy. “These waiver requests are riddled with inaccuracies and misinformation and there is no merit to our critics’ arguments,” Buis continued.
The bottom line is that the governors and the big food companies pushing the waiver have failed to show severe economic harm directly attributable to the RFS – the rise in commodity costs are a result of one of the worst droughts in recent history.
Buis noted in his comments that, “A decision to grant the waiver requests would come at a great cost to the United States, both economically and through the sacrifice of larger policy goals. A full waiver of the national Renewable Fuel Standard could lead to closed or idled biorefineries throughout the nation, resulting in as many as 3,000 to 8,300 job losses in ethanol producing areas and $2.9 to $7.8 billion in lost revenues. Consumers would then suffer much higher prices at the gas station, costing U.S. drivers more than $7.5 billion a year or $62.70 per household – far more than any potential impact on food prices. The waiver could also mean losses of between $5.8 and $27.75 billion for U.S. corn farmers, exacerbating what is already a time of economic hardship in rural America.”
The RFS was designed with flexibility, to endure situations such as a short crop and already we are seeing the free market forces take effect. Currently there are roughly 2.5 billion RFS credits available, the price of corn has dropped from record highs, exports have declined and ethanol production has decreased.
Buis added that, “The market is working, it always has. If the RFS could be waived on the flimsy evidence contained in the letters now before the Agency, EPA would send the wrong signal to the investment community, whose participation is vital to the further development of the American biofuels industry. Waiving the RFS would almost certainly jeopardize our energy security, would continue our dangerous dependence on foreign oil, would do nothing to improve our nation’s environment, and would do tremendous economic harm to American consumers, the biofuels industry and America’s farmers–far greater harm than any alleged benefits of a waiver espoused by petitioners.”
“The RFS has been the most successful energy policy enacted in the last forty years, and any changes to the current policy would be nothing short of succumbing to political pandering and pressure from Big Food companies,” Buis concluded.
View the cover letter at GrowthEnergy.org/press.