RFS has positive impact on rural Nebraska

Source: By Grand Island Independent Editorial Board • Posted: Thursday, August 13, 2015

This month marks the 10th anniversary since President George W. Bush signed the Renewable Fuel Standard into law. The RFS has spurred billions of dollars in investments in biofuel technology, boosted our state and nation’s economy, increased demand for corn and provided a valuable feed source for our cattle.

Here in our state, the University of Nebraska released a study earlier this year estimating the annual economic impact of the ethanol industry on Nebraska alone at $5 billion dollars. That’s a breathtaking number and serves to reinforce the importance and value of biofuels to Nebraska overall but especially to our rural communities and our agricultural producers.

With twenty-four ethanol plants in Nebraska, our rural communities are huge beneficiaries of those facilities and their economic output.

However, the RFS is under attack by President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which has proposed rules lowering the renewable volume obligations for big oil companies. If implemented, the EPA’s proposed rules would break faith with America’s farmers and the biofuels industry which has made production and investment decisions based on the laws governing the RFS.

The EPA should reinstate strong renewable fuel volumes that reflect the original intent of the RFS when it was approved in 2005 with strong, bipartisan support.