WASHINGTON — The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has been an unmitigated success and repealing or dramatically reforming the program will reverse those gains already made to reduce petroleum dependency, boost rural economic development and slash greenhouse gas emissions, Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen told the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power today.
In 2015, 14.8 billion gallons of ethanol was produced, supporting 85,967 direct jobs, while net petroleum import dependence fell to just 25 percent, and would have been 32 percent without the addition of domestically produced ethanol to the nation’s fuel supply. Meantime, the use of ethanol in gasoline in 2015 reduced greenhouse gas emissions from transportation by 41.2 million metric tons — equivalent to removing 8.7 million cars from the road for an entire year.
The oil industry would like to dramatically reduce or repeal the RFS because the program’s continued implementation would mean a further loss of market share, but doing so would devastate investment in next generation biofuel technologies and halt progress already made.
“The incumbent industry has already lost 10 percent of the market. If the RFS is implemented consistent with the statute, the market will make the final push to see cellulosic ethanol and other advanced biofuels to fruition, resulting in the loss of 30 percent of the market,” Dinneen said.
“It is important to note that Congress did an excellent job of crafting the RFS, building in a great deal of administrative and market flexibility to deal with issues as they arise,” Dinneen told the subcommittee. “You wrote a good law in 2005. Don’t be bullied by the hyperbole and scare mongering by the incumbent industry that fundamentally disagrees with the need for alternative, low carbon options for consumers.
“…[T]here is nothing wrong with the RFS that cannot be fixed with what is right with the RFS, and there is no need to legislate changes to a program that is working well today,” Dinneen concluded.
View Dinneen’s testimony as prepared for delivery here.