Northwest Iowa —¬† Thirteen years ago this Wednesday, August 8, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was signed into law.
Supporters of ethanol say that the RFS law sparked a new era of U.S. biofuel leadership. According to Fuels America, a coalition of organizations committed to “protecting America‚Äôs Renewable Fuel Standard and promoting the benefits of all types of renewable fuel already growing in America,” the RFS continues to “support rural jobs, increase energy security, and deliver clean, affordable options at the fuel pump.”
They marked the occasion by calling on Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to quickly deliver on the President‚Äôs pledge to uphold the RFS and expand the market for ethanol blends, including E15.
Kevin Skunes, president of National Corn Growers Association says that “…biofuels are more important than ever. Farm income has fallen to a 12-year low, and the EPA‚Äôs refinery waivers have left more and more families facing an uncertain future.”
In July, the EPA announced proposed biofuel targets for 2019. Fuels America says the proposal offers “no protection against waivers and loopholes abused by the previous EPA administrator.” The plan is available for public comment until August 17th, and advocates have launched a web portal at¬†FuelsAmerica.Org/Action-Center, where supporters are invited to make their voices heard.
Since its enactment in 2005 and expansion in 2007, proponents say the RFS has driven unprecedented growth while curbing emissions and increasing U.S. energy security. From 3.9 billion gallons in 2005, America‚Äôs biofuel sector produced more than¬†15.8 billion gallons¬†of ethanol in 2017. Over the same period, America‚Äôs net oil imports fell from 12.6 to 3.7¬†thousand barrels¬†per day.
POET Biorefining, which has a plant near Ashton, is one of the companies that support the RFS.¬†Kyle Gilley, senior vice president of external affairs and communications at POET says,¬†‚ÄúPresident Trump vowed to protect the engine of economic growth that has delivered for 13 years.” He says, “It is time to allow year-round E15 access for America‚Äôs drivers. E15 is an affordable, high-octane fuel that will grow our nation‚Äôs biofuel use and allow the RFS to continue to deliver for America.‚ÄĚ