Focus on Biofuels Is Key to Renewable Energy Success | Commentary
by Byron Dorgan (Roll Call) … But today, I’m concerned about the administration’s recent proposal that would put an end to the growth of this emerging American energy industry. The EPA proposal, if left unchanged, would signal a retreat on our bipartisan commitment to developing a strong renewable fuels industry to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, create jobs and reduce harmful emissions.
This proposal simply doesn’t fit with the president’s goals. Take biodiesel as an example. It is a significant RFS success story — the first EPA-designated advanced biofuel to reach nationwide, commercial-scale production. The EPA says it reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 57 percent to 86 percent, and the White House’s recent report on climate change cited incentives for biodiesel as an example of federal mitigation. Biodiesel is produced at refineries in almost every state in the country and has steadily grown the past few years using an increasing variety of resources such as animal fats, soybean oil and recycled cooking oil.
Yet under the EPA’s proposal, biodiesel production could be cut sharply from last year’s record production of nearly 1.8 billion gallons, down to 1.28 billion gallons. This makes no sense, and it’s threatening a clear success story in the advanced biofuels sector.
Why are we walking away from success? And how are we going to be “first when it comes to biodiesel” if we cut RFS volumes below demonstrated capacity?
And let’s be clear about prices: Blaming the RFS for high gas prices is like blaming the rooster for the sunrise. Fuel prices have been rising for decades, and Americans clearly understand that the real cause is our lack of choice and competition. There is no free market in the fuels sector, and prices are heavily manipulated by global cartels such as OPEC.
The RFS is designed to change that, and it’s working. READ MORE