The American Farm Bureau Federation quickly stated its opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard requirements, which would scale back the total amount of biofuels that must be blended into the nation’s gasoline supply, when the EPA’s Federal Register notice for public comment occurred. This comes from an association that has a large percentage of livestock producers, who at times have been vocal in opposition to the RFS requirements.
The proposal lowers the mandate to 15.2 billion gallons of renewable fuels. Of the 15.2 billion gallons, 13.01 billion gallons would come from conventional ethanol and 2.2 billion gallons from advanced biofuels. EPA is proposing that 1.28 billion gallons of the advanced biofuel target be biodiesel.
“This decision strikes a blow to conventional ethanol production and dampens the prospects for the further development of advanced biofuels,” said AFBF Executive Director of Public Policy Dale Moore. “EPA’s proposal will severely move away from achieving the goals that were set by Congress to create a more robust renewable fuels industry as well as a pathway to achieving energy independence from unstable regions of the world.”
Farm Bureau is urging EPA to reconsider its 2014 proposed volume standards and stay the course in order to meet targets indicated in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which calls for 18.15 billion gallons of renewable fuels next year with 14.4 billion gallons to be conventional ethanol and 3.75 billion gallons was to be advanced biofuels.
“Renewable fuels have been a tremendous success story for the nation as a whole as well as to the rural economy,” continued Moore. “The RFS2 has reduced our country’s dependence on foreign crude oil, reduced air pollution, increased farm incomes and has provided good paying jobs within rural America.”
Since the RFS2 was put in place in 2007, the U.S. has seen tremendous growth within the agricultural sector: agricultural exports have increased 57 percent, total livestock output has increased 31 percent and total crop output has increased 44 percent. Additionally, since 2007, the United States has seen crude oil imports decrease from 60 percent of total use down to 40 percent. If the 2014 volume requirements are finalized, this decision would stall growth and progress in each of these areas, the AFBF contends.
To view AFBF’s comments, click here. The deadline for submitting comments to EPA is Jan. 28 at 11:59 pm.