The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed slashing the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and reducing the amount of ethanol we blend with our gasoline by 1.4 billion gallons in 2014. If implemented, this misguided proposal would raise gas prices and seriously damage the rural economy.
Thankfully, there is still time to put a stop to this proposal. Click here to tell the EPA that the RFS is working as it was intended and that there is no need to change it. The EPA is accepting public comments on the proposal through Jan. 27, 2014. It is up to farmers and consumers to prevent this harmful proposal from being implemented.
Still not convinced enough to submit your comments? Here are 10 reasons you should contact the EPA and tell them to leave the RFS alone:
1. Lower gas prices. If the RFS is slashed, gas prices will go up. According to a recent study from Iowa State University, ethanol helps reduce gas prices throughout the United States.
2. Decreased dependence on foreign oil. Since the RFS was implemented in its current form in 2007, foreign oil imports are down 20 percent. Do we really want to go back to relying even more on foreign oil from countries that don’t like America?
3. Choice at the pump. The RFS gives motorists real choice at the pump and provides long-overdue competition for Big Oil in the transportation fuels market.
5. Ethanol cleans our air. Using ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions compared to gasoline by as much as 50 percent. Minnesota’s metro areas were in non-attainment status with the EPA until we started blending 10 percent ethanol with our gasoline about 16 years ago.
6. Record corn crop. The 2014 corn crop is projected to be a record 14 billion bushels, more than enough to meet our food, fiber and fuel needs. Corn prices are also falling and are currently about where they were when the RFS was implemented in its current form in 2007. Cutting the RFS would send prices tumbling even further, negatively impacting the overall rural economy and 2014 planting decisions.
7. Rural economic development. According to the latest figures from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, ethanol is responsible for $5 billion and total economic output and more than 12,600 Minnesota jobs.
8. Investment in renewable fuels infrastructure. Big Oil has created the myth of the “blend wall” as an argument against the RFS. Because Big Oil has a monopoly on our transportation fuels, they control our fueling infrastructure. By cutting the RFS, it gives the oil industry a free pass for blocking the infrastructure developments that would further advance the use of homegrown renewable fuels.
9. More big profits for Big Oil. According to Louisiana State University, cutting ethanol use by 1.4 billion gallons would increase gas prices by 5.7 cents per gallon and lead to a $10.3 billion windfall in additional profits for Big Oil.That’s on top of the record profits Big Oil has already been reaping over the last couple of years.
10.Oil is unsustainable. In 2001, a barrel of oil cost $23. Today, oil is around $100 per barrel — a 335 percent increase despite the fact that gasoline demand is down and we’re drilling for more oil domestically in places like North Dakota. Now is not the time to reduce the amount of renewable biofuels we use and increase the use of non-renewable oil.
Of course, there are many more than 10 reasons why the EPA should not slash the RFS, but we don’t want to take up any more of your time. Instead of reading additional reasons, we want you to make your voice head and tell EPA to back off the RFS!