Industry reacts to congressional letter to EPA on RFS

By Holly Jessen | November 01, 2013

The Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy fired back against a letter signed by a group of members of U.S. Congress, which asks the U.S. EPA to “to consider a fair and meaningful nationwide adjustment” to the 2014 renewable fuel standard (RFS) blending requirements.

The letter, which was sent to the EPA on Oct. 31, is intended to create anxiety over the RFS when it has actually been very successful, said Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the RFA in a prepared statement. “We are confident that when all the facts are assessed, the efficacy of the RFS will be affirmed,” he said. “Americans want to decrease our reliance on petroleum. Americans need relief at the pump. This policy is generating jobs and stimulating investment in the new energy technology that will drive our future. Now is simply not the time to roll back the RFS.”

Tom Buis CEO of Growth Energy, also released a statement about the letter, saying that the “cheap corn caucus” was at it again. “Despite false claims that biofuels are increasing the cost of corn, those who signed this letter failed to review the facts and recognize that (on Oct. 29) corn was trading at a 37-month low,” he said, adding that food conglomerates are achieving increased profit margins that have outpaced farm costs. He also pointed to the fact that ethanol was trading at 80 cents below the price of gasoline. “The bottom line is ethanol is already helping consumers save at the pump and any effort to roll back RFS would only increase gas prices and increase already significant price burdens each time motorists fill up, he said.

The letter was signed by 169 members of Congress, including Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., who claims the RFS is negatively impacting consumers and the economy. “The growing support from members of Congress from across the nation and a diverse coalition of outside groups makes it clear that we must consider real legislative reforms to this mandate,” he said in a press release. “In the meantime, I urge Administrator (Gina) McCarthy to take immediate action to provide much needed relief from the RFS.” The full text of the letter is available online.