Renewable fuels groups celebrate 10 years of RFS |

Renewable fuels groups celebrate 10 years of RFS

Emily Skor
The Hagstrom Report |

Renewable fuels groups this week issued statements celebrating the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which established the Renewable Fuel Standard and called for an even bigger commitment to renewable fuels.

Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy, which represents the builders and managers of renewable fuels plants, said, “Ten years ago, Congress altered the trajectory of U.S. energy policy and sent our country in a new direction – one focused on regaining our energy security but also on encouraging the further development of our renewable fuel resources. It’s easy to forget what a watershed moment that was.

“When we look at America’s energy landscape today, the impact of this visionary, audacious effort to inject change into what had been a monopolistic system is evident,” Skor continued. “The vital and increasing role of biofuels in America’s fuel supply are yielding real-world results that touch people’s lives every day. Our air is cleaner. Our reliance on foreign oil is reduced. Farmers in this country’s heartland are hard at work ensuring that we have the resources to produce more biofuel that powers this country forward.

“The homegrown companies that founded America’s biofuel industry have also destroyed the myths designed to hold back innovation and big thinking. Since the RFS was enacted, we’ve completely torn down the so-called 10 percent blend wall and shown that high biofuel blends improve engine performance and our environment.

“But we aren’t about to stop and rest on our laurels,” Skor added. “The men and women of America’s biofuel industry are passionate about what they do and are more committed than ever to ensuring that our nation’s fuel supply becomes cleaner and greener. Breakthroughs in advanced cellulosic technology have us poised to once again change the game, improve efficiencies, and innovate the earth-friendly biofuels production process once again.”

The Renewable Fuels Association released an analysis that contended “tremendous progress” has been achieved toward greater energy security, cleaner air and boosting local economies.

American Coalition for Ethanol CEO Brian Jennings said, “The RFS has spurred revolutionary changes across entire sectors of the economy: substantially lower fuel prices and more fuel choices for consumers at the pump, dramatically greater energy security for the U.S., profitable value-added markets for farmers, high-wage jobs, and other economic benefits in rural communities.

“Since the RFS was signed into law, the ethanol industry has experienced improved market share and innovation. The RFS was enacted to disrupt oil’s status-quo grip on the marketplace, and that’s precisely why oil companies continue to fight for repeal of the RFS,” he added. “The RFS has also served as a catalyst for technology innovation in our sector resulting in less energy and water to produce ethanol, a smaller carbon footprint and overall, a much more efficient industry.

“In 10 years, the biofuels industry will be stronger and more important to the overall economic success of America than it is today. Plants will produce a greater variety of products and coproducts as diversity and innovation will continue to drive efficiencies.

“Most importantly, I have every confidence that in 10 years from now our market share will grow from 10 percent of gasoline demand today to between 20 and 30 percent of the market, based on vehicle emission standards and demand for low-carbon fuel, as the U.S. comes to grips with the fact that we need to do more to reduce CO2 emissions from the transportation sector,” Jennings concluded. “The lowest-cost way to reduce CO2 from vehicles is through low-carbon, high-octane fuels like ethanol.”

President George W. Bush signed the bill Dec. 19, 2007. It increased the volumetric requirements from the original 2005 law. Oil companies have objected to the requirements ever since.

At present, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has a hold on President Donald Trump’s nomination of Bill Northey to be agriculture undersecretary for farm production and conservation. Cruz has proposed a reduction in the cost of renewable identification numbers (RINS), but the industry has not accepted his proposal.