Eighty-Seven Ethanol, Grain Companies Ask Biden to Stand Behind RFS

Source: By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter • Posted: Tuesday, September 21, 2021

LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) — As part of what Growth Energy is calling a virtual fly-in to Washington, D.C., a group of 87 ethanol and grain companies who are members of Growth Energy sent a letter to President Joe Biden calling for his support of the Renewable Fuel Standard.

The ethanol industry is awaiting the release of proposed RFS volumes for 2021 and 2022, and possibly a proposal to reduce volumes from 2020.

In the letter, the companies said they have continued to work through a number of obstacles to keep their businesses profitable.

“Over the past few years, biofuel producers and our farm suppliers across the heartland have worked tirelessly to overcome outdated regulatory obstacles and expand Americans’ access to cleaner fuel choices at the pump,” the letter said.

“This summer, however, oil companies successfully sued to reverse the Environmental Protection Agency’s approval of year-round sales of E15, a 15% ethanol fuel blend with a lower price tag and fewer emissions. These same oil companies are now attacking the RFS, with the goal of restoring their monopoly over the gas tank and pushing out low-carbon biofuels.”

The companies said ethanol should be part of a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in transportation fuels because ethanol reduces carbon emissions by 46% compared to fossil fuels.

“A recent analysis concludes that if we’re to achieve net-zero by 2050 we must use all tools in the toolbox — including biofuels,” the letter said.”Our industry supports over 300,000 good-paying, clean energy jobs across the heartland. If your administration lets refiners replace clean, renewable biofuels with more fossil fuels, it will hinder progress on your ambitious climate agenda, hurt working families, and undermine the economic recovery across rural America. Unfortunately, fossil fuel advocates continue to demand that EPA adopt Renewable Volume Obligations that fall far short of your commitment to uphold the RFS.”

The companies asked Biden to assure that RFS volumes for conventional biofuels remain at 15 billion gallons, and to restore “500 million gallons of improperly waived fuel-blending requirements and drive ambitious targets” for advanced and cellulosic biofuels.

“Now more than ever, it is imperative that your administration take this opportunity to create clean energy jobs and decarbonize the transportation sector,” the letter said.

“Biofuels are the solution, offering well-paying, clean energy jobs. We ask that you ensure your EPA upholds the commitments you made on the campaign trail and restore integrity to the RFS to achieve our climate goals.”

Read the letter: https://growthenergy.org/…

Todd Neeley can be reached at todd.neeley@dtn.com