WASHINGTON — Today, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack announced the recipients of federal grants through the Biofuel Infrastructure Program (BIP). Last month, Secretary Vilsack announced that 21 states had been selected to participate in the matching grants program, which aims to give consumers greater access to higher ethanol blends by investing up to $100 million in biofuel blender pumps. Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen applauded USDA for its continued investment in biofuels:
“USDA in general and Secretary Vilsack particular are to be commended for providing consistent, concerted, and courageous leadership when it comes to investing in American energy,” said Dinneen. “These matching grants will inject the capital that is needed to build out the infrastructure that is critical for increasing consumer access to higher ethanol blends. Today’s announcement by USDA underscores the importance of having the private sector invest in our nation’s biofuels industry. Our hope is that EPA is watching and paying close attention.” Continue reading
WASHINGTON — The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) released the following statement in response to a press release issued by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), in which the group calls on motorcycle riders to support legislation that would amend the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by prohibiting gas stations from selling fuel that contains more than 10 percent ethanol, and requiring those that are already selling higher ethanol blends to cease. Continue reading
As part of the celebration of the 10-year anniversary of America’s Renewable Fuel Standard, Fuels America released a video, “Voices of the RFS,” featuring farmers, entrepreneurs, and rural Americans who discuss what the RFS means to them and their communities.
Interviews are from the Rally for Rural America in Kansas City.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a continuing show of widespread support for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), advocates are rallying for clean, secure, American energy around the 10-year anniversary of the RFS (August 8th, 2015), and pointing to the progress of the past decade under the bipartisan law.
Over fifty grassroots events will take place at state and county fairs throughout the month of August, starting today on August 7th. Farmers and consumers will have the chance to inform and educate elected officials, and local and national media on the successes of the RFS in the past decade.
Today and Monday, constituents from Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska, Ohio, and Wisconsin are dropping off comments they submitted to the EPA on its proposed multiyear RVOs during the comment period at the district offices of their respective U.S. Senators to show the economic impact of the RFS on their communities and the importance of the RFS to everyday Americans – and to rally for clean, secure, American energy and point to the progress of the past decade under the bipartisan law. Continue reading
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, representatives from Fuels America and other advocates for clean, secure, American energy delivered over 200,000 comments to the EPA in support of a strong final rule under the Renewable Fuel Standard. This show of grassroots support comes on the final day of the comment period, and after widespread grassroots voices have come out in force to support the RFS. The 200,000+ comments delivered by Fuels America do not paint the full picture; tens of thousands of additional pro-biofuels comments are expected by the close of the comment period as well.
Scores of farmers and biofuels producers hosted rallies this summer in Kansas City and Washington, DC to elevate their voices, joining numerous elected officials in bipartisan calls for the EPA to protect America’s rural economies and green innovators over foreign oil profits.
“The Renewable Fuel Standard represents a promise to rural America—a promise that, when kept, helped rural economies across America make a strong comeback,” said Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union and one of the Fuels America members who dropped comments off at the EPA this morning. “Today’s tremendous show of support for a strong RFS shows that it is time for the EPA to stop choosing foreign oil over rural America, and start getting the RFS back on track.” Continue reading
Sioux Falls, SD (July 27, 2015). – Today the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) submitted comments to EPA on the proposed blending volumes for 2014, 2015, and 2016 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). ACE’s full comments can be read on the ACE website. Here are excerpts from ACE’s Executive Vice President, Brian Jennings.
“The RFS is intended to reduce the GHG emissions of motor fuel and provide consumer access to E15 and flex fuels which are less expensive and cleaner than gasoline. These sweeping goals will not be realized if EPA continues to ride the brakes on the RFS. Issuance of the final RFS in November has consequences beyond trying to get the program back on track. The decision will come at the same time the President prepares to negotiate an international agreement to reduce GHG emissions in Paris. What an embarrassment it will be if EPA betrays the Administration’s commitment to curb climate change by restricting the use of low carbon biofuels in the U.S.”
“Congress struck the phrase ‘or distribution capacity’ from the RFS waiver provision because it understood oil companies would exploit those words to confine ethanol blending at E10. EPA needs to accept this.” Continue reading
Each signature represents comment to EPA urging strong RFS
Fuels America has helped grassroots advocates for clean, secure, American energy submit more than 198,000 comments to date on the multiyear RVO proposal to the EPA through a petition in support of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Each petition signed represents a comment to the EPA in support of a strong RFS. Ahead ofMonday’s deadline to comment on the proposal, Fuels America is urging Americans to reach 200,000 signatures, showing significant and widespread support for a stronger rule.
The Fuels America petition represents just one segment of the thousands upon thousands of comments the EPA will have received by Monday in support of putting the RFS back on track. Thousands of handwritten comments were submitted at rallies in Kansas City and Washington, DC this summer, as hundreds of farmers and biofuels producers gathered at each to call on the EPA to stand up for rural America.
“When we asked America to tell President Obama and the EPA to stand up to the oil industry and support renewable fuel, we expected a big response,” said an email from Fuels America to its followers earlier today. “But the outpouring of support has been even bigger than we expected and it sends a clear message to the EPA: Renewable fuel is working for rural America. Now, with the deadline quickly approaching in just three days, we’re within striking distance of 200,000 signatures. Sign the petition now to help us reach this critical goal.” Continue reading
Corn Farmers Rally on Capitol Hill to Protest RFS Cuts
WASHINGTON (July 15, 2015) – More than 300 corn farmers and ethanol industry leaders joined members of Congress on Capitol Hill today at a rally calling attention to the Renewable Fuel Standard. The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed cutting the RFS for corn ethanol by 3.75 billion gallons through 2016, which represents nearly 1.5 billion bushels in lost corn demand.
“Our message to the EPA is clear and unequivocal: Don’t mess with the RFS,” said NCGA Chairman Martin Barbre, a farmer from Carmi, Illinois. “We are gathered here today because we all understand what’s at stake.”
Rally attendees heard from Senator Mark Kirk, Representative Tammy Duckworth, farmers, and ethanol industry leaders on the importance of ethanol to strengthening rural economies and protecting our environment and national security.
Following the rally, corn farmers visited their congressional offices to drive home the importance of ethanol and the RFS. In his closing remarks, NCGA President Chip Bowling, a farmer from Newburg, Maryland, urged farmers to stand up and make their voice heard.
“Now is the time for farmers to stand up for your farms, your families, your communities, and our country,” said Bowling. “We must hold Congress to its promises – and hold the EPA to the law.”
What they’re saying: Continue reading
Dave Eckhardt, a fourth-generation family farmer near LaSalle, serves as president of the Colorado Corn Growers Association.
Written by: Dave Eckhardt, a fourth-generation family farmer near LaSalle, serves as president of the Colorado Corn Growers Association.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Urge the EPA to uphold the RFS … because it’s working
The EPA recently snubbed the Renewable Fuel Standard with a revision to the rule that would cut corn ethanol obligations by 3.75 billion gallons over three years – equivalent to a billion and a half bushels in lost corn demand.
We can’t help but ask … “why?”
Perhaps the EPA has forgotten the RFS is working.
It’s helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Last year, ethanol lowered CO2-equivalent GHG emissions from transportation by 39.6 million metric tons — akin to removing 8.4 million cars from the road.
The RFS has helped reduce imported oil. With 14.3 billion gallons of domestic ethanol used in the U.S. last year, our net import oil dependence was lowered to 28 percent, but otherwise would have stood at 35 percent.
The RFS and ethanol have also provided an economic boost, particularly in rural America. Last year, the ethanol industry supported 83,949 direct jobs, added $52.7 billion to the GDP, and increased household income by $26.7 billion. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
WASHINGTON — Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its proposed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) renewable volume obligations (RVOs) for 2014, 2015 and 2016. Unfortunately, the EPA continues to cling to the “blend wall” methodology that falsely claims ethanol has reached its saturation point at a 10 percent ethanol blend and that higher-level ethanol blends, such as E15 and E85, are not yet large enough to justify a higher RVO. The Renewable Fuels Association has called on the EPA to do away with the “blend wall” methodology and allow the statutory volumes in the RFS to drive marketplace change. Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, released the following statement:
“EPA has to be given some credit for attempting to get the RFS back on track by increasing the renewable volume obligations (RVOs) over time. But the frustrating fact is the Agency continues to misunderstand the clear intent of the statute — to drive innovation in both ethanol production and ethanol marketing. The Agency has eviscerated the program’s ability to incentivize investments in infrastructure that would break through the blend wall and encourage the commercialization of new technologies. By adopting the oil company narrative regarding the ability of the market to effectively distribute increasing volumes of renewable fuels, rather than putting the RFS back on track, the Agency has created its own slower, more costly, and ultimately diminished track for renewable fuels in this country. Continue reading
WASHINGTON — Advanced Ethanol Council (AEC) Executive Director Brooke Coleman released the following statement today in response to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) releasing its proposed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) renewable volume obligations (RVOs) for 2014, 2015 and 2016.
“The good news is it is clear that EPA and the Obama Administration want to send a signal to the marketplace that domestic renewable fuel markets are going to grow. The blending targets are definitely stronger and theoretically create new markets. And the blender pump program shepherded by Secretary Vilsack, if implemented the right way, could create more market access for renewable fuels. But Clean Air Act regulations have to have backbone to actually achieve their ambitions, and EPA is still allowing the oil industry’s refusal to comply with the RFS to be cause to slow the program down. If the Obama Administration continues to reward non-compliance with clean energy laws, clean energy laws will cease to be effective. Continue reading
ACE reiterates priority to hold oil companies accountable for E15 and flex fuels
Sioux Falls, SD (April 10, 2015) –Brian Jennings, Executive Vice President of the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), released the following statement in response to an announcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that, under a court settlement with oil companies, the Agency will propose the 2015 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) renewable volume obligations by June 1, 2015, and issue the final 2014 and 2015 RFS blending targets by November 30, 2015.
While not part of the court settlement, EPA also announced it will propose the 2016 RFS renewable volume obligations by June 1, 2015 and finalize the 2016 standard by November 30 – the same time as it finalizes the 2014 and 2015 standards. EPA indicated the 2014 volumes will “reflect the volumes of renewable fuel that were actually used in 2014.” Continue reading
AEC: RFS Schedule Agreement Makes Sense
WASHINGTON — Brooke Coleman, executive director of the Advanced Ethanol Council (AEC), released the following statement today in response to the announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it had reached an agreement with the oil industry about when the new Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) rules will be proposed and finalized.
“The scheduling agreement between the oil industry and EPA is actually a good signal for the advanced biofuels industry because it lays out a time frame and a reasonable market expectation for resolving the regulatory uncertainty around the RFS. Now that we have a better idea of when it will happen, we look forward to working with EPA to make sure that the new RFS proposal supports the commercial deployment of advanced biofuels as called for by Congress. We were encouraged by EPA’s decision late last year to pull a problematic 2014 proposal, and we are optimistic that EPA will make the necessary adjustments and put the RFS back on track going forward.” Continue reading
WASHINGTON (April 2, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson today cautioned the American public – rural and urban alike – to be very leery of the rhetoric being used to sell upcoming trade deals and to insist that any agreement signed by this country has the primary goal of reducing the overall trade deficit.
“Trade is neither inherently good nor is it inherently bad,” said Johnson. “And the string of deals that have been signed into law over the past decade, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the more recent Korean trade deal have failed to deliver prosperity and instead have exported good American jobs while growing the overall trade deficit,” he said. Continue reading
WASHINGTON (April 1, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) delegates recently reiterated their support for the mandatory federal labeling of food products containing GMO traits at its annual convention. As such, NFU opposes the voluntary standard set out in Congressman Pompeo’s, R-Kan., Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 (H.R. 1599).
“Consumers increasingly want to know more information about their food, not less,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “NFU policy supports mandatory labeling for food products throughout the processing chain, seeking to reduce consumer confusion and allowing producers to differentiate their products.” Continue reading
WASHINGTON (March 31, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson today expressed concern over the exclusion of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in President Obama’s formal submission of a plan to the United Nations to cut United States greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution.
“The RFS offers America a cleaner, more environmentally friendly fuel sector with its support for biofuels,” said Johnson. “The president is ignoring agriculture’s great potential to help the country cut GHG emissions and mitigate climate change by excluding the RFS from his plan.”
Johnson noted that climate change poses a great risk to agriculture. Family farmers and ranchers are willing and able to help build climate resiliency. Continue reading
WICHITA, Kan. (March 16, 2015) – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy promised the agency would soon come out with a final Waters of the Unites States (WOTUS) rule and committed to movement on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) as well.
“I really wish we had done a better job of rolling out the clean water rule,” she said and “I’m really concerned that we weren’t crystal clear not only about what we intended to do but also what we weren’t intending to do,” she said.
McCarthy thanked National Farmers Union (NFU) and its members for their helpful feedback during the process and thanked NFU President Roger Johnson for his handling of the situation “I want to thank you for not having a knee-jerk reaction,” she said and noted that EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers were working hard to finalize the act by this spring.
McCarthy told the crowd that the agency’s definition of tributaries in the initial draft was far too vague and that would be corrected. “We are considering appropriate ways to narrow that definition.” Continue reading
Campaign Launches With Digital Ad Campaign on 102nd Anniversary of Big Oil Tax Breaks
As America marks the 102nd anniversary of tax breaks for oil companies this week, the Fuels America coalition is launching a “Clean, Secure American Energy” campaign that will highlight the success of the Renewable Fuel Standard. The “Clean, Secure, American Energy” campaign will culminate in the tenth anniversary of the RFS in August.
Oil company tax breaks were first signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson as part of the very first income tax code, which took effect on March 1, 1913. In contrast, tax credits for corn ethanol expired several years ago, and the RFS has existed for just 10 years. In those 10 years, however, the commonsense, bipartisan RFS has tripled America’s biofuel production and helped lower our oil dependence to the lowest level in decades, while delivering significant environmental and public health benefits.
The RFS has played an important role in advancing American energy independence and national security as part of an “all of the above” energy strategy. And because Renewable Fuel is produced right here in the United States, the industry supports 852,000 American jobs instead of sending our jobs and money overseas.
The “Clean, Secure, American Energy Campaign” is launching this week with a significant digital advertising campaign, which is running on RollCall.com. The ads congratulate the oil industry by “Celebrating 102 Years of Oil Spills and Pollution.” A blog post that accompanies the ads pointed out that “with climate change as a growing threat, we need our leaders to invest in clean, secure sources of American energy — including renewable fuel.” Continue reading
WASHINGTON (Feb. 26, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson said that the Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act would cripple rural America’s economy and be an enormous step backwards for America’s goal of energy independence by a decade or more.
“The elimination of corn-based ethanol as an option to fulfill the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) will reverse the enormous economic prosperity we’ve seen in rural America since the passage of the RFS and will severely hamstring this nation’s goal of energy independence,” said Johnson.
Johnson pointed out that corn-based ethanol has been used to fulfill the lion’s share of the RFS because it is among the most efficient renewable transportation fuels to produce. It has not only helped reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil but also generates a very valuable by-product – Dried Distiller’s Grains – that has proven invaluable as animal feed. “Not only will this bill hurt family farmers and ranchers and the rural economies they support, but it will also increase carbon emissions and petroleum use, neither of which is good for the nation or the environment,” said Johnson. Continue reading