FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 1, 2015
Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106
WASHINGTON (June 1, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson today urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to adhere to Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volume targets as set forth in federal law and asked Congress to resist changing the popular fuel law that has greatly increased productivity and prosperity on family farms and in rural America.
“EPA is charged with setting annual volume targets mandating what amount of biofuels must be blended into the transportation fuel supply,” noted Johnson. “Last week, the Agency proposed targets for 2014-2016 that fell short of statutory levels. When those targets are finalized in November, they should comply with the targets set forth by Congress.”
Johnson noted that both cellulosic ethanol and advanced biofuels have now reached commercial status and offer the greatest potential for environmental benefits, but delays in issuing volume targets have caused an estimated $13.7 billion gap in capital investment needed to comply with the volume targets set in the statutes that enacted the RFS, according to the Biotechnology Industry Organization.
“The EPA must adhere to the targets set forth in the law or capital investment will continue to turn away from the U.S. renewable fuel sector in favor of foreign investments, leaving this nation without a robust renewable fuel sector,” he said.
Johnson also said Congress should resist revisiting the popular law and allow it to continue to stoke rural America’s economic engine while giving farmers a dependable market for their corn. “The RFS has not only ignited the rural economy at a time when prices were flat and hope was short, it also supports jobs – 83,949 direct and 295,265 indirect jobs in 2014,” he said.
Johnson noted that the RFS has benefitted both farmers and consumers alike. “Home grown ethanol saves consumers $.50-$1.50 per gallon of gas and has added more than $1.7 billion to the U.S. economy,” he said. “This homegrown fuel supply has helped mitigate this nation’s dependence on foreign sources of petroleum while driving much needed investment in rural communities,” he said.
National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.