WASHINGTON, D.C. — As President Obama signs into law the Agricultural Act of 2014, Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), commented:
“President Obama and Congress are to be applauded as the Farm Bill of 2014 becomes law. The President is absolutely correct to champion the economic benefits of this legislation on rural America. Creating jobs and economic opportunity is most challenging in rural communities, which is why the President has long supported and appreciated the value of the American biofuels industry.
“Under the Renewable Fuel Standard, the U.S. ethanol industry created and supported over 386,000 jobs in the past year. Forty-six percent of ethanol industry workers earned more than $75,000 annually while another 45 percent reported making between $40,000 and $74,999. Ninety-six percent of workers had health insurance and 92 percent had retirement plans.
“The economic benefits of the RFS are not limited to the rural communities. At the macro level, the RFS is helping Americans coast-to-coast, border-to-border save money by reducing the price of gasoline by an average of $1.00/gallon in 2012 and 2013. Under the RFS, imports of foreign gasoline dropped an incredible 89 percent from 2007 to 2013 helping this nation become more secure at both the economic and national security levels. The RFS also reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 40-50 percent compared to gasoline.
“To build on the success of the Farm Bill, we call on President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency to protect the RFS and restore the 2014 conventional ethanol requirement to its statutory level. The President is right to champion rural America and the time to fight for the RFS is right now. If the EPA’s proposal to decrease the conventional ethanol portion of the RFS becomes a reality, rural America will be hit the hardest. Farm income will fall, corn prices will sink, and land value will fall. Much like the Farm Bill, it may be a long and hard fight but we will continue fighting for American farmers, consumers and rural communities.”