It could be a tough year for ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) if legislation introduced today is any indication. Illinois Corn Growers Association has identified preserving the RFS as one of our top legislative priorities for the year. What will happen when we return to trend-line or better corn production in Illinois and beyond? We’ll have lots of corn without a home, that’s what.
The RFS Reform Act was introduced today by by Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Steve Womack (R-AR), and Peter Welch (D-VT) that would effectively end the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
“Obviously this is a shell bill for Big Oil that’s going to try to restrict consumer access to higher blends of ethanol that would lead to cheaper prices at the pump,” said Dave Loos, IL Corn’s Director of Business and Technology Development.
“We know that Big Oil advocates spend more than $25 million a year to give ethanol and biofuels a black-eye. This is just another tactic to remove ethanol as a competitor in the petroleum based fuel market,” Loos continued.
The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) forcefully responded to new legislation.
Bob Dinneen, RFA’s President and CEO, fired back at the legislation:
“The motivation behind this bill is backwards, silly, circular logic. The authors insist they're not anti-biofuels, but the bill guts the only program that has successfully opened the market to these new technologies, lowering our dependence on imported oil and reducing the consumer price of gasoline. The authors state they want a 'free market' for energy, but they do nothing to end the billions in subsidies to Big Oil and they deny market access to E15. The authors portend to retain the mandate for new cellulosic and advanced biofuels, but the bill handcuffs the commercialization of these fuels by removing the forward-looking, market-driving provisions of the original legislation. It would be more direct and intellectually honest to simply say ‘this bill restores Big Oil’s monopoly.’”
Dinneen continued, “You can’t legitimately say ‘we support biofuels’ and then pull the rug out from underneath companies that relied upon government policy and are now building biorefineries that create hundreds of construction jobs at each location or are hitting milestones in new production. This legislation should have been introduced on Halloween because it will scare away investors. Nothing undermines next generation innovation like uncertainty.”