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RFA Statement on Senate Hearing Focused on GAO RFS Reports

December 1, 2016


Today the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management is holding a hearing examining two reports by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The reports incorrectly suggest the RFS is falling short of its goals to support commercialization of advanced and cellulosic biofuels. In response to the hearing and the GAO reports, Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen issued the following statement: "This hearing and the GAO reports really miss the point. The RFS has been a resounding success by any measure. It has created high-paying jobs across America, reduced oil imports from OPEC, lowered consumer fuel prices, slashed emissions from the transportation sector, and driven substantial investment into advanced and cellulosic biofuel technologies. "While first-generation biofuels were already proven in 2007 when Congress expanded the RFS, legislators knew full well that the pace of commercialization for advanced and cellulosic biofuel technologies was somewhat uncertain. That's precisely why Congress included measures allowing EPA to adjust advanced and cellulosic volume requirements. Indeed, the volumes in the 2007 bill were not a forecast, but rather an aggressive goal and bold vision to support the creation of a vibrant low-carbon advanced biofuel market. "That bold vision is in fact being realized, and advanced biofuel production has grown dramatically under the RFS. Production and use of advanced biofuels has risen from less than 200 million gallons when the original RFS was adopted in 2005 to approximately 4 billion gallons (RINs) in 2016—a 20-fold increase. That's a remarkable achievement that simply wouldn't have occurred without the RFS. "GAO also ignores a number of important factors that have impeded more rapid growth in advanced and cellulosic biofuel production. The Great Recession and financial crisis, lengthy delays by EPA in setting annual RFS volume requirements, uncertainty caused by oil industry lawsuits and repeal efforts, and OPEC manipulation of world oil markets are just a handful of unforeseen challenges that have undercut more rapid development of next generation biofuels. "Still, even with that uncertainty and instability in the background, leading innovators like DuPont, POET/DSM, Quad County Corn Processors, East Kansas Agri-Energy, CHS, Adkins Energy, ICM, Valero and many others are showing that advanced and cellulosic biofuels are real and are poised for explosive growth in the years ahead."