A Better Fuel Mix Can Be ‘Made in America’
by Rick Santorum (Des Moines Register/Americans for Energy Security and Innovation) … American ethanol now replaces more than 500 million barrels of imported oil annually and shields drivers from price manipulation by hostile forces within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Ethanol also reduces carbon emissions by 43 percent, according to the latest research by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. There’s no shortage of detractors in the petroleum business, but the facts are clear, and homegrown biofuels now supply a full 10 percent of America’s motor fuel, making a major contribution to U.S. energy security.
Unfortunately, those EPA officials who manage non-conventional biofuels seemed to have missed the memo. If finalized, the EPA plan would cut advanced biofuels by 73 million gallons and provide for zero growth in biodiesel.
The loss of 73 million gallons may not seem like much, especially when you consider that we export more than a billion gallons of U.S. ethanol each year. But there’s more to the story. By law, the Renewable Energy Standard (RFS) calls on the EPA to foster growth in domestic bio-energy production. Ignoring that law sends a signal to investors that the U.S. is no longer fertile ground for innovation in renewable fuel.
What the EPA needs to understand is that conventional ethanol and cellulosic ethanol are part of a single, unbroken supply chain that is lifting up rural America. Cellulosic ethanol doesn’t come from a lab in Seattle.
But future growth envisioned under the RFS falls exclusively under the column of advanced biofuels.
These fuels can actually sequester carbon over their full life cycle, significantly reducing emissions, according to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory. They also supply a fresh revenue stream to rural communities, bringing high-tech jobs into the heartland.
By slashing targets for advanced fuel, the EPA is essentially telling rural America that growth is not an option. READ MORE