The EPA Faces a Crucial Choice

Source: By Fuels America • Posted: Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The oil industry and renewable fuel industry agree on one thing: the EPA has a big choice to make when it comes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

The choice comes down to this — reward the oil industry for refusing to fulfill its obligations under the policy, or get the RFS back on track by following the spirit and intent of the law.

What’s at stake here is whether or not to maintain the “Consumer Choice Provision” of the RFS. Congress included the Consumer Choice Provision to make more options available to American drivers and encourage the oil industry to invest in infrastructure for renewable fuel.

But the oil industry wants to reverse course on the Consumer Choice Provision.

Instead of arriving at a rule that is based on the renewable fuel industry’s ability to supply fuel to consumers as Congress intended, oil companies would have the EPA block competition from renewable fuel on the oil industry’s behalf.

The EPA has two choices.

Choosing the oil industry would mean more imported oil from hostile foreign regions, more pollution and spills, and fewer American jobs. It would also mean protecting the oil monopoly on our fuel supply and even higher gas prices.

Choosing America’s rural economies and innovation would mean supporting over 852,000 American jobs, primarily in rural communities that are just getting back on their feet, and creating thousands of new, permanent American jobs. It would mean keeping a promise to investors in advanced biofuels — the world’s cleanest motor fuels — instead of sending that investment to China.

Since the RFS first went into effect in 2005, America’s renewable fuel production has more than tripled — driving down our dependence on foreign oil to the lowest level in 25 years.

All of that progress was threatened when EPA caved to oil industry lobbyists and put out a proposed rule that accomplished exactly what oil companies intended: changing the rules midstream, creating show-stopping market uncertainty, and freezing about $13.7 billion in investment in advanced biofuels.

Now is the time to restore market certainty, keep our promise to investors, and choose America’s rural economies and clean energy innovators over the oil industry’s demands.

EPA, your choice is clear. Support a strong Renewable Fuel Standard.