The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) is opposed to a bill introduced by Congressman Jeff Flake (R-AZ) that they claim would weaken the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by requiring fuel companies to blend only the amount of cellulosic ethanol currently being produced into gasoline.
“Basically any weakening of the RFS is not a good thing for the country going forward. When you look at the ambitious goals that have been set to wean ourselves off foreign sources of oil and create a domestic biofuels industry, that’s a threat when you’re trying to undermine that,” said AFBF energy specialist Andrew Walmsley, noting that pulling back on the requirement will reduce the incentive for investment in advanced biofuels.
Walmsley says investment and increased production of cellulosic biofuels could open up new markets for farmers. “Those producers that may not grow corn and have had the opportunity to benefit from the growth of corn ethanol – the advanced biofuels and cellulosic ethanol is where they can break in. There’s crops that fit into southern rotation for southern growers between peanuts and cotton or you could look at perennials. There’s crops that grow year after year that you plant and have a dedicated source of income.”