Reduction in RFS will slow growth of renewable fuels, ag economy
Washington-EPA's decision earlier this month to lower the Renewable Fuel Standard "undermines our nation's commitment to advancing biofuels and establishing energy independence," according to American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman.
"Biofuels have been a homegrown energy success story for the U.S. and our rural economies. The RFS has produced jobs, decreased reliance on foreign oil and contributed to cleaner air," he continued in a statement.
EPA's new mandate requires refiners to mix a total of 18.11 billion gallons of biofuels-corn ethanol, biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol-into the country's fuel market in 2016, which is well below the 22.3 billion gallons required under a 2007 law. EPA set the volume for corn-based ethanol at 14.5 billion gallons. That's 500 million gallons below its target under the law.
"We need more biofuels, not less, and Farm Bureau called on EPA earlier this year to protect the RFS," Stallman said. "We are disappointed to see the agency move forward with a decision that will stall growth and progress in renewable fuels as well as the broader agricultural economy. Farmers, ranchers and consumers will be impacted by the drop in ethanol production and the falloff in livestock feed that goes along with it. In the end, we lose the jobs and stability that come from growing renewable fuel."