Fuels America leaders say “thank you, President Trump” for RFS support

November 10, 2017 |

In Washington, a coalition of the nation’s leaders in advanced and cellulosic biofuels thanked President Trump for his commitment to the RFS, which “has attracted billions of dollars of investment in first-of-a-kind technologies in the advanced and cellulosic biofuels industry.”

They also express concerns about the EPA’s July proposal to reduce White House-approved growth in cellulosic biofuels, noting “the final rule must grow the market for both cellulosic and advanced biofuels over 2017 levels.” Finally, they express their appreciation for Administrator Pruitt’s decision to reject damaging changes to the RFS, promoting “certainty and equity in these policy areas.”

The letter is signed by Aemetis, ADM, Cellerate, DSM, Edeniq, Enerkem, ICM, Lallemand Biofuels, Mascoma, Novozymes, Pacific Ethanol, POET, POET-DSM, Quad County Corn Processors, Renmatix, Sweetwater Energy, Syngenta, Vertimass, and White Dog Labs.


Below is the text of the letter.

As the leading companies in the advanced and cellulosic biofuels industry, we are writing to thank you for your commitment to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). 

As you have stated on several occasions, the RFS is critical to the effort to reinvigorate growth in America’s heartland and make America more energy secure. The RFS already supports hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs, creates new market opportunities for America’s farmers and innovators, and has attracted billions of dollars of investment in first-of-a-kind technologies in the advanced and cellulosic biofuels industry. 

The RFS is poised to drive the next manufacturing wave across America. Many of the same companies and regions producing first-generation biofuels are now commercializing EPA-approved advanced and cellulosic biofuels from agricultural residues. And emerging technologies can convert an even broader assortment of biomass and waste materials into American-made biofuels. With so much invested in these technologies, we appreciate the clarifications offered by EPA Administrator Pruitt on October 19th to Senators Ernst, Grassley, Roberts, Thune, Fischer, Rounds, and Sasse. 

As we look to the final RFS 2018 rule, we would like to highlight a few elements critical to the effort to attract global investment and stimulate growth in advanced and cellulosic biofuel production. 

First, the RFS volume obligations must reflect the projected volumes of advanced and cellulosic biofuels, as intended by Congress. While the original 2018 RFS proposal reviewed by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in June proposed almost 25 percent growth for cellulosic biofuels over 2017 levels, the 2018 proposed rule shrunk the RFS cellulosic biofuel standard by roughly 25 percent compared to 2017 levels and rolled back overall advanced biofuel volumes. Administrator Pruitt’s letter does not commit to growing cellulosic biofuel markets over 2017 levels because the rulemaking is ongoing. But if America wants to lead on cellulosic biofuels, the final rule must grow the market for both cellulosic and advanced biofuels over 2017 levels. 

Second, the integrity of the RFS must be protected and biofuel markets must be allowed to expand to attract investment and bring more advanced biofuels to market. We appreciate Administrator Pruitt’s commitment to finalize the point of obligation decision, not pursue rule changes on export RINs, and examine Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) inequities. The biofuels industry is unified against proposals to move the point of obligation and to change the rules pertaining to imports/exports because these mid-stream rule changes would sap fuel markets of the incentive to blend more biofuels. And the lack of RVP parity needlessly blocks mid-range ethanol blends from the pump during the summer, depriving consumers of a cheaper, cleaner blend when gas prices and pollution levels are highest. Creating certainty and equity in these policy areas is essential to driving growth. 

Mr. President, we very much appreciate your ongoing commitment to the biofuels industry and the Americans who work every day to produce biofuels and other bio-based, agricultural products. Growing the final 2018 RFS rule over 2017 levels and opening the transportation fuel marketplace to greater competition from biofuels will help generate more investment in our sector, leading to more construction and manufacturing jobs in rural communities, and increased U.S. energy security. 


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Category: Policy

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