Growth Energy Submits Comments on EPA Draft 2014 RVO Proposal

Comments highlight proposal represents a significant step backward for the RFS in 2014

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Growth Energy submitted detailed comments in response to the proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the 2014 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) which are part of the broader Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy noted, “The RFS has been an overwhelming success. It has created American jobs, revitalized rural America, injected much-needed competition into a monopolized vehicle fuels market, lowered the price at the pump, improved the environment, and made our nation more energy independent and secure by reducing our dangerous dependence on foreign oil.”

Buis continued, “EPA’s proposed RFS waiver, however, threatens to undermine the success of the RFS by not only halting future progress but in fact rolling back gains made to date.  EPA’s proposal would be devastating for farmers and rural America, causing over $6 billion in harm, including lost income to farmers and lost jobs at biorefineries as well as the loss of nearly $30 million in state tax revenues.  The proposal would also undermine billions of dollars of investments made by biofuel producers in order to do their part under the RFS. It would halt future investments in the next generation of biofuels and increase greenhouse gas emissions. And it would do all of that for no reason whatsoever. EPA’s proposed waiver will not save consumers a dime at the pump.  RIN prices are not driving up the cost of gasoline – the price of oil drives up the price of gasoline. In fact, waiving the volumes would increase consumer fuel costs by $12-18 billion each year by limiting the amount of lower cost biofuels brought to market.”

“There is absolutely no basis—legal or economic—for EPA’s proposed waiver,” Buis explained.  The 14.4 billion gallon requirement for conventional renewable fuel set by Congress can readily be met in 2014 if EPA simply allows the RFS to function as it was intended.”

Growth Energy’s comments go through point after point refuting the claims made by EPA and the oil industry.  Using significant research and data, the comments knock down the flawed arguments about the so-called “blendwall”:

  • Because of a reliance on old data, EPA failed to account for the recent surge in gasoline demand that will consume more ethanol in the form of E10 (gasoline with ten percent ethanol) and help achieve the RFS volumes
  • If oil companies are required to meet their obligations under the RFS and finally end their efforts to block greater usage of renewable fuel, more than enough E15 and higher biofuel blends can be brought to market.
  • E15 is safe and effective and is starting to move in retail markets as it is now approved for over 80 percent of the vehicle fleet and nearly all gasoline dispensing equipment manufactured since 2008 is warranted for dispensing E15
  • It is estimated that there also will be at least 1.7 billion carryover RINs available this year for RFS compliance

Buis added, “Despite the false claims of our critics, ethanol continues to save consumers at the pump each and every day.  Our substantive comments directly show the administration how we can continue to move forward with the RFS by giving consumers access to renewable fuels.”

Click here for the full comments submitted to the EPA (9 MB PDF).

Click here to view a one page fact sheet highlighting Growth Energy’s comments and the success of the RFS.