The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), along with biotechnology businesses and ethanol groups, called on President Obama last week to reverse the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to slash the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
In a letter sent to the President, NCGA and the other groups cited the recently released National Climate Assessment as yet another reason to maintain a strong RFS and continue setting our goals high for blending homegrown biofuels in our gasoline.
A recent analysis from the Biotechnology Industry Organization showed that weakening the RFS would increase carbon pollution emissions by 28.2 million metric tons in 2014 alone.
From the letter:
The EPA’s proposal will not only undermine your Administration’s efforts to address climate change, it will also undercut the Administration’s efforts to support commercial scale production of cellulosic ethanol and other advanced biofuels – precisely at the time this new industry is taking root. Four new commercial scale cellulosic ethanol production facilities are coming online this year.
The policy stability offered by the Renewable Fuel Standard – with a gradual ramping up of renewable fuel targets year by year – created the market certainty needed to foster the private sector investment in these innovative new fuels. With the proposed rule, the EPA is changing the rules in midstream, replacing market certainty with uncertainty, and making it very difficult for additional U.S. cellulosic ethanol facilities to secure financing and investor support. If the United States continues on this course, future investments in advanced biofuels will increasingly shift to Asia, South America and Europe.
This is precisely what the oil companies want.
The full letter can be read here.
Minnesota corn farmers and renewable fuels supporters signed over 7,000 letters telling EPA to not mess with the RFS earlier this year. Farmers and renewable fuels supporters understand the importance of improving air quality and preserving resources for the next generation. They also understand the key role homegrown biofuels plays in reducing CO2 emissions.
EPA is expected to issue its final ethanol targets for the 2014 RFS next month. Here’s hoping they do the right thing for our environment and maintain a strong RFS.