It’s down to the wire for the biofuel and agricultural industries to submit comments on the agricultural impact of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a second in an RFS series being published by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Growth Energy, Fuels America, and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) all submitted input today.
The consensus among the biofuel industry is that the RFS is one of the most successful energy policies in the last 40 years. The industry cites the ethanol industry has been a direct benefit for farmers as well as Americans.
Bob Dinneen, CEO and president of RFA noted, “…it is important to remember that a central objective in developing a vibrant and robust ethanol industry was to increase demand for agricultural products and enhance farm income.” He points out that the emergence of ethanol has transformed the grain sector from a “stagnating, surplus-driven marketplace to one that is vibrant, high-tech and demand-driven.”
While opponents of ethanol say that the fuel has caused food prices to rise, Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis said that people need to better understand the relationship between corn and ethanol. “While our critics have said the ethanol industry uses a significant portion of the corn crop, if you look beyond simple volume of corn and into the net corn acreage used, the industry actually only utilizes 17.5 percent of the acres because of displacement of corn and soybean meal through the use of distiller grains as a high protein animal feed,” who also noted that biofuels have also been a benefit to farmers globally.
In a letter from Fuels America, the organization’s membership urged to keep the RFS in place because it is the framework upon which cellulosic and advanced biofuels are being built. “The future growth in the sector lies in the cellulosic and advanced spaces where billions of dollars have been invested in research and development, testing, and commercialization of an entire industry that did not exist in 2007. Today, the industry is putting steel in the ground on multiple commercial facilities led by companies including INEOS Bio in Vero Beach, Florida; KiOR in Columbus, Mississippi; Abengoa in Hugoton, Kansas; POET-DSM in Emmetsburg, Iowa; and DuPont in Nevada, Iowa.”
Ultimately, the biofuel industry is urging Congress to keep the course as set for the RFS.