RFS is Working, Driving Innovation and Growth in Cellulosic Fuels

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Oversight Subcommittee held a hearing to discuss two Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). In response, Growth Energy CEO, Emily Skor, issued the following statement:

“The GAO reports discussed today do not shed any new light on the RFS. It is our country’s most successful energy and climate policy that strengthens our nation’s energy security, while also reducing harmful emissions.

“Corn ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 34 percent compared to conventional gasoline while saving consumers money at the pump, displacing toxic additives found in gasoline, creating American jobs and adding high-performance octane to the country’s fuel supply. Ethanol producers have shown time and time again that they are capable of meeting the goals for conventional biofuel production under the RFS.

“The goals laid out by the RFS are ambitious, especially in regards to next generation biofuels. It is difficult to predict the timing of new technology, and adding to that is the economic, administrative and congressional uncertainty that have contributed significantly to the projections made in these GAO reports. EPA’s recent decision to set the 2017 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) for conventional biofuels to the statutory level of 15 billion gallons is a great first step in creating certainty for the industry.

“The ethanol industry is a shining example of American innovation and ingenuity. We now see our first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plants bringing advanced biofuels to the market. These are technological advancements that would not have happened without the goals laid out under the RFS. Policymakers can help further spur this progress by continuing to let the RFS program work as intended.

“Lastly, EPA has the multiple, very explicit authorities to adjust the levels of advanced and cellulosic biofuels called for under the RFS, some of which have been used multiple times. To suggest that the policy needs to be changed to accomplish these reductions in advanced and cellulosic biofuels simply ignores that the policy already has these mechanisms in place.”

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