Six years ago today, President George W. Bush signed into law the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), which greatly expanded Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to become the RFS2. The goals of the new standard were to reduce our dependence on oil, confront global climate change, and expand production of renewable fuels for the security of future generations.
“Just six years later, tremendous progress has been made toward achieving the original objectives of the expanded RFS,” said Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president and CEO Bob Dinneen today in a conference call marking the anniversary. “Renewable fuel production and consumption has grown dramatically. Dependence on petroleum—particularly imports of refined products—is down significantly. Greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector have fallen. The value of agricultural products is up appreciably. And communities across the country have benefited from the job creation, increased tax revenue, and heightened household income that stems from the construction and operation of a biorefinery.”
RFA has released a report that compares today to six years ago in several areas, including renewable fuels production, economic activity, agricultural impacts, environmental issues, fuel prices, import dependence, and food prices. RFA Vice President of Research and Analysis Geoff Cooper outlined the findings during the conference call, concluding that “The RFS has indeed lived up to its promise in building out a renewable fuels industry, in reducing dependence on imported petroleum, in stimulating the agricultural economy – and at the same time the RFS has simply not had the impacts on the environment and food markets that detractors of the program have claimed.”
Among the more interesting points is the price of corn, a mere 20 cent difference from $4.20 season average in 2006 compared to $4.40 this year. Meanwhile, the price for a barrel of oil is up nearly 50% – up to over $108 compared to $72 in 2007.