FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 31, 2017
Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106
WASHINGTON – For the past decade, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has been a boon to American-grown renewable energy development, thereby expanding markets for family farmers, creating jobs in rural communities, shoring up American energy independence, and cleaning up the environment.
So when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issues new renewable fuel volume obligations this November, they must continue to build on the success of the RFS, says National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson. In public comments filed to the EPA today, Johnson urged the agency to issue RFS volume obligations that expand markets for higher blends of ethanol and advanced biofuels.
“The RFS has provided tremendous benefits to American family farmers, rural residents, consumers and the environment for the past decade, ” said Johnson. “If the EPA upholds Congress’ intent to institute a market-driving renewable energy policy, the RFS will continue to pave the way for America’s transition to a renewable energy future.”
In his comments, Johnson called on the EPA to improve on their proposed volume obligations from July. While the proposal maintained conventional biofuel levels, it lowered requirements for advanced biofuels.
“President Trump and his administration have assured family farmers and rural residents that this administration plans to support biofuels and uphold the intent of Congress as it relates to the RFS,” noted Johnson. “While we appreciate that EPA’s proposal maintains the implied conventional biofuel RFS volume at 15 billion gallons, the agency continues to consider “constraints” on ethanol use, when it should continue to support ongoing efforts to increase use of higher ethanol blends in this country.”
“In addition, EPA’s proposal significantly reduces the statutory volume for advanced biofuels and, thereby, the total renewable fuel volume,” Johnson continued. “As such, the overall proposal falls short of preserving the integrity of the RFS – which is to drive the biofuels market and grow the industry.”
“As family farmers navigate a severely depressed farm economy, this is a time the administration should be raising expectations for a policy that drives many economies in rural America. We urge the administration to increase these proposed volumes and reject any calls to further reduce the required volumes,” he concluded.
To download an audio file of Roger Johnson’s quote, visit our website at nfu.org/audio.
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.