Growth Energy and seven other biofuel organizations have sent a letter to President Obama outlining the importance of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), explaining the inherent flexibility of the RFS to deal with a short crop, as caused by this year’s drought. Additionally the letter went on to explain the many counterintuitive consequences of waiving the RFS.
“While the Environmental Protection Agency has the fiduciary duty to review the petitions filed by state governors, I felt it was critical that the industry communicated the importance of the RFS and how a waiver will not accomplish the goal of bringing down grain prices,” stated Tom Buis CEO of Growth Energy.
“Trying to blame the ethanol industry is disingenuous and misplaced. The true culprit is Mother Nature and there is no tool available to alter the unpredictable,” Buis continued. “Currently there is a tremendous amount of misinformation surrounding the drought and ethanol production and educating policymakers on the facts is a top priority.
Ethanol production does not use 40 percent of the corn, but only 16 percent of the total net corn acreage. In the production of ethanol, only the starch is removed, so the co-product is a high protein animal feed, known as distillers grains, which not only replaces corn for livestock feed, but also displaces soybean meal.
The market is already working in the response to high commodity prices. Ethanol production is down 15 percent and obligated parties have the option to use an excess of 2.5 billion RFS credits. This waiver would only hurt family farmers by asking them to accept a lower price during a year they are facing a short crop.
When you look at the facts, obligated parties will continue to use ethanol in blending gasoline as it is the cheapest source of octane on the market – and removing that ability would only drive up gas prices, having a far greater effect on consumers.
“The biofuels industry has created and supported nearly 500,000 jobs during difficult economic times, and to grant a waiver that would cause widespread job loss and suppress investment in the next generation biofuels would set a bad precedent. An isolated event surrounded by hysteria and misinformation should not dictate policy decisions,” Buis concluded.
Source: Growth Energy