Lowering RFS Will Raise Big Oil Profits

Cindy Zimmerman

Big Oil will reap big profits if the Environmental Protection Agency actually proposes a substantial cut to the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requirement for conventional biofuel blending, according to a new analysis released by the ethanol industry today.

The analysis finds that the oil industry stand to make an additional $9-14 billion in 2014 if the EPA were to change the renewable volume obligations (RVOs) next year from the statutory level of 14.4 billion gallons to between 12.36 and 13.18 billion.

fuels-americaDuring a telephone conference call organized by Fuels America this morning, biofuels stakeholders talked about the allegedly “leaked” EPA draft of the 2014 RVO plan and what the results could be if it actually happens.

“A decision to lower the RVO in 2014 would be a huge step backward for the corn ethanol industry and would amount to a substantial transfer of wealth away from America’s farmers and small businesses to oil and gas companies,” said said Geoff Cooper, Vice President for Research with the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), who presents the analysis on the RFA E-xchange blog.

Both DuPont Global Business Director for Biorefineries Jan Koninckx and Chris Standlee with Abengoa Bioenergy said changing the RVO would have a chilling effect on advanced biofuels investment. “Publication of this ‘leaked’ draft would force us to reexamine (our) investment plan and consider other countries that are more friendly for future investment,” said Standlee.

Koninckx called the oil industry is “a powerful incumbent industry that’s resisting innovation” and noted that “it is the RFS that brought leadership in biofuels.” He added, “What we need to see is leadership in simply implementing the law as it is.”

Listen to or download conference call here: Fuels America press conference

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