RFS is Working… Why Are We Here?

John Davis

oestmann1So the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) should certainly be considered a success since it is doing many of the things it was projected to do:
– A capacity that is greater than 10 percent of the total fuel supply (that amount was expected right in the original bill)
– An alternative to foreign-based fuels
– A growing renewable fuels industry
– Adding to farm incomes in rural America

Plus, a lot more. So that led to this question during the Environmental Protection Agency’s hearing on the RFS in Arlington, Va.:

“So why are we even here?” asked Jeff Oestmann with East Kansas Agri-Energy LLC, an ethanol producer with an approximately 45 million gallon per year operation in Garnett, Kansas. “It boggles the mind to understand why we have a completely successful program by any measure, all targets are being met, and we have compliance by all [Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO)] parties.”

One of the most frustrating things Jeff cited was the fact that the EPA proposed lower amounts of ethanol and biodiesel that could be mixed into this country’s fuel supply than what the law intended, and that could destabilize the biofuels industry and the rural economy. He said all this turmoil is already stalling future work as investors are hesitant to put money into an industry they’re not sure will get the support required by the law. And Jeff said he just doesn’t have time to come to debate what is a successful program and was supposed to be the law of the land.

“It’s hard to come to Washington today, as our company is small and really cannot afford my time to be spent here today. Congress has created the RVO. It is EPA’s job to implement the will of Congress… not the will of the auto or petroleum industries.”

Listen to Jeff’s full testimony here: Jeff Oestmann, East Kansas Agri-Energy LLC comments to EPA hearing

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