Letter to Congress: No Changes to RFS

Joanna Schroeder

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 9.36.35 AMA broad group of companies supporting the renewable fuels industry sent a letter urging members of Congress to reject proposals that ‘amend, repeal, defund or otherwise modify or interfere with the Renewable Fuel Standard‘(RFS). This included the amendment from Rep. Barry Loudermilk that would defund the RFS.

The letter compares renewable fuel favorably to gasoline on environmental measures and argues that renewable fuel breaks the oil monopoly on gasoline. The letter also cites that in 2013, 33 percent of the petroleum consumed in the United States came from foreign sources, the lowest level since 1985.

Read the letter.

July 2, 2015

Dear Representative:

We are writing to you regarding the Fiscal Year 2016 Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. As you review amendments proposed to this package, we urge you to reject any proposals that amend, repeal, defund, or otherwise modify or interfere with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), including the amendment planned by Representative Loudermilk (R-­GA) to defund the EPA’s implementation of the RFS. The EPA is in the middle of a rulemaking process setting volumetric targets for 2014-­‐2016 that would be derailed by this amendment. Any changes will destabilize the regulatory and policy environment, chilling the investment that drives innovation in the biofuel space, preventing the adoption of cleaner alternatives, and protecting the oil industry’s monopoly over our transportation fuel.

In 2007, when Congress enacted this 15-­year policy as part of the Clean Air Act, it set the country on a clear path toward a lower carbon, renewable fuel supply. The RFS ensures market access for competitors to the country’s transportation fuel supply–otherwise a monopoly for the oil sector. This long-­term, stable policy has guided billions of dollars from around the world toward innovation in the sector. The RFS is working.

Since 2000, the RFS has helped to reduce foreign oil imports by 25%. In 2013, about 33% of the petroleum consumed by the United States was imported from foreign countries-­‐the lowest level since 1985. Over its lifetime, the RFS has saved the American consumer an average of $1 a gallon. The RFS also cuts greenhouse gas emissions: Argonne National Laboratory has shown that the life-­cycle CO2 emissions from traditional corn ethanol average 34% lower than gasoline. Just this year, three cellulosic biofuel refineries opened. Advanced biofuels like these can reduce life-­‐cycle CO2 emissions by between 88% and 108%.

We urge you to reject the Loudermilk amendment and any other proposed legislative changes to the RFS. These misguided efforts will halt our nation’s progress in reducing our reliance on foreign oil in our transportation fuel supply, negatively impacting our economy, hurting American farmers and resulting in higher gas prices over time.

Biodiesel, biofuels, Ethanol, RFS