(Posted Tue. Mar 27th, 2012)
Mar. 27: The National Corn Growers Association has joined forces with biofuels organizations and renewable energy advocates to highlight the role the Renewable Fuel Standard plays in moderating gasoline prices, reducing foreign imports, and supporting the advanced and cellulosic biofuels sector.
In a letter sent to Congressional leaders today, NCGA, the American Coalition for Ethanol, Advanced Ethanol Council, Biotechnology Industry Organization, Growth Energy, Renewable Fuels Association, 25x’25 Alliance and Energy Future Coalition are urging Congress to support the RFS and reject attempts to reduce, waive, or eliminate it.
“Today, ethanol is approximately $1 cheaper than gasoline and blending ethanol into U.S. gasoline saves consumers at the pump,” the groups said. “Thanks in part to the RFS, U.S. oil imports fell below 50 percent in 2010 for the first time since 1997, and, oil imports stand at just 45 percent today. Ethanol accounts for 81 percent of all new domestic fuel production since 2005.”
The letter came at the same time that biofuels advocates are making visits to Capitol Hill to talk about the importance of renewable, domestic fuels.
“This week, I am with a number of other corn growers and leaders in the biofuels industry in Washington to drive home the message that the ethanol industry is an important part of the rural economy and that it plays an important role in moving our nation’s energy independence forward,” said NCGA President Garry Niemeyer. “The Renewable Fuel Standard is an important tool to help decrease our reliance on foreign oil by supporting jobs here at home.”
In their letter to Congress, the groups also praised the RFS’s role in supporting and expanding biofuels into the future.
“Because of the RFS, the advanced and cellulosic biofuels industry is now in the process of building new plants, innovating existing production facilities with emerging technologies, and introducing new product streams that will allow the renewable fuels sector to become more profitable, diversified and efficient,” the groups wrote. “Several billion dollars have been invested in advanced biofuels development with the expectation that Congress will stay the course with regard to its commitment to the industry and to the stability of the RFS. Efforts to amend or reform the RFS would send a chilling signal to a marketplace at just the time when the advanced and cellulosic biofuels industries are on the cusp of commercial production to help meet this nation’s energy independence and security needs.”
The groups concluded, “Anything short of full support for the RFS will exacerbate the problem of increasing gas prices and undercut the ethanol industry’s efforts to innovate and continue to deliver domestically-produced and affordable alternatives to foreign oil.”