Draft bill would eliminate corn ethanol portion of RFS

By Erin Voegele | October 31, 2013

The Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy are speaking out against draft legislation that would reportedly eliminate the conventional ethanol portion of the renewable fuels standard (RFS). The legislation is expected to be introduced by Sens. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla.

Feinstein’s office was able to confirm that the senator is working on a bill related to the RFS. However, her press office was unable to offer any additional details on the legislation. It is unclear when the bill could be introduced.

Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the RFA, called the legislation “monumentally stupid,” noting that eliminating the conventional ethanol portion of the RFS would eliminate the opportunity to commercialize new technologies and feedstocks. “We all understand that Senator Coburn just wants a world free of competition for his oil industry. But, Senator Feinstein professes to support second generation biofuels,” he said. ‘What she is failing to understand, however, is that we will never see those technologies develop if the policy is gutted and the investment community is given the unambiguous signal that Congress is not serious about reducing our dependence on foreign oil.”

Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, is also critical of the draft bill.  “This legislation is incredibly short-sighted. This legislation is nothing more than a job killer that will also gravely damage innovation and the robust rural economy. More than anything, it seems like legislation is appeasing the wishes of Big Oil,” he said.  “You cannot have advanced biofuel without conventional biofuel, and the reality is that if such legislation were to move forward it would embrace the status quo of our dependence on foreign oil, concede we no longer are serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions and are seeking to pursue a policy that would result in massive upheaval and job loss in today’s booming rural economy.