Today, December 5, 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), held a public hearing for the proposed rule 2014 Standards for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program. The EPA has drafted amendments to the RFS program regulations which was established in the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007. This law determines the annual percentage standards for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and renewable fuels that would apply to all gasoline and diesel produced in the U.S. or imported.
In its rule, the EPA has proposed several devastating reductions to the RFS fuel requirements, hindering a program that has been successful in reducing dependence on oil, creating investments for the advance biofuels sector and decreasing the countries’ carbon footprint. Specifically, the EPA plans to cut total biofuel blending from 18.15 billion gallons specified for 2014 to 15.21 billion gallons. The measure also would drop the corn ethanol requirement from 14.4 billion gallons to a little more than 13 billion gallons, an amount even less than the 13.8 billion gallons required this year. Furthermore, it would keep the 2014 biodiesel requirement at about the same 1.28 billion gallons called for this year, despite the fact that U.S. producers are on track to generate 1.7 billion gallons by the end of 2013.
On behalf of its member companies, BIO testified on the damaging impact that this rule would have on the biofuels industry. BIO highlighted its testimony in a recent press release,
“The RFS was designed by Congress to provide a supportive environment for private companies to develop new technologies, new production infrastructure, and new energy crop supply chains. Our companies have acted on this, investing billions of dollars in private capital in conjunction with federal and state grants to launch this new industry. This proposed rule will strand existing investments in advanced biofuels, curtail any further investment and development of future facilities, and put hundreds of thousands of existing and future jobs at risk. It will undercut the commercialization of other biotechnology research and development, such as the burgeoning renewable chemicals industry, that are following on to the growth of biorefinery platforms encouraged by the RFS.
“This proposal will leaving us increasingly dependent on oil, which increasingly comes from volatile regions of the world or is extracted in environmentally detrimental ways such as Canadian oil sands or deep water drilling. Setting the 2014 RFS obligations lower than the 2013 levels would mean that America will use 100 million additional barrels of oil next year alone. This would result in more than 30 million added tons of greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere...”
To read BIO’s testimony in its entirety, visit our site.