WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, during the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) field hearing on the 2014-2016 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) proposed rule, Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, testified before the EPA panel to explain how the RFS has been an American success story and if the proposal were to be implemented as currently proposed, it would eviscerate the promise of the RFS. Buis noted:
“We see the RFS as a modern American success story that has created jobs, revitalized rural America, injected much-needed competition into the vehicle fuels market, lowered the price at the pump, improved the environment, and made our nation more energy independent.
“However, EPA’s latest RVO proposal to waive the statutory renewable volume obligations would eviscerate the promise of the RFS. It would cause severe harm to farmers, the biofuels industry and the nation’s economy. This proposal is already creating great uncertainty for farmers and other industry investors.
“The RFS was approved by a bipartisan majority in Congress and enacted into law eight years ago. Since that time, the oil industry has used its considerable power to delay, litigate and undercut the RFS. Now, by refusing to take any steps to allow higher biofuel blends into the consumer marketplace, the oil industry is claiming the statutory volumes of the RFS cannot be met because of the so-called ‘blend wall.’ EPA’s proposal to waive the statutory renewable fuel volumes mistakenly accepts this logic. It ignores the potential for E15, E85 and biodiesel. It ignores the large surplus of RINs that could be used. It ignores increased gasoline demand. And, most fundamentally, it ignores Congressional intent in creating the RFS program. The statutory volumes can easily be met if the oil industry would simply comply with the original intent of the RFS and allow higher ethanol blends like E15 to be competitively sold to consumers.
“Companies from all over the world have invested billions of dollars in first and second generation biofuels in the U.S. and are poised to do more. Arbitrarily reducing the levels established in the statute threatens investments that are making commercial production of cellulosic ethanol a reality — projects that will help achieve the significant greenhouse gas reduction goals outlined in the RFS. Also threatening greenhouse gas reductions, this proposal would nearly double the demand for imported Brazilian ethanol that has to be shipped thousands of miles by sea — and it isn’t being shipped by sailboat. At the same time, U.S. produced ethanol would then be forced to be exported — often times to Brazil. This is literally a case of ships passing in the night.
“Now is the time for EPA to move the RFS forward, not backward. EPA has the opportunity to use its authority to continue the implementation of a successful policy that has been a win-win for our nation and its citizens. They should not squander that opportunity to placate Big Oil at the expense of the American taxpayer.
“EPA, if you seek to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, create jobs here in the US that cannot be outsourced and strengthen the rural economy, and, if you truly want cleaner air, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, a better environment for our children and lower gas prices for American consumers, tear down this blend wall!”
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About Growth Energy
Growth Energy represents the producers and supporters of ethanol who feed the world and fuel America in ways that achieve energy independence, improve economic well-being and create a healthier environment for all Americans now. For more information, please visit us at www.GrowthEnergy.org, follow us on Twitter @GrowthEnergy or connect with us on Facebook.