California resolution calls for federal reform of RFS

By Erin Voegele | September 18, 2013

The California legislature recently passed Assembly Joint Resolution 21, which urges federal lawmakers and the U.S. EPA to reform the renewable fuels standard (RFS), transitioning away from first-generation biofuels. The measure was introduced by Assembly Member Kristin Olsen in May. Members of the state assembly and the state senate voted unanimously to pass AJR-21 on Sept. 12.

In addition to urging the U.S. Congress and EPA to transition the RFS program away from corn-based ethanol, the text of the bill also calls for these entities to “implement aggressive mechanisms to promote the development of advanced, sustainable noncrop-based fuels, including, but not limited to, cellulosic ethanol.”

The text of the measure also implies the RFS has increased the price of corn by 300 percent since it first became law. The bill also says that the loss of acreage in to biofuel crop production along with corn price increases has contributed to the loss of dairy production capacity in California, with 387 dairies closing in the state since 2007, and 100 dairy farms lost in 2012 alone.

Copies of the resolution will be sent to the president, vice president and speaker of the House of Representatives, the minority leader of the House, the majority leaders of the Senate, the minority leader of the Senate, and to each senator and representative of California.