NeFU Urges Higher RFS Levels

For Immediate Release                                                                                                                                     Contact: John Hansen 402-476-8815
July 27, 2015                                                                                                                                               

NeFU Strongly Urges Administration to Comply with RFS Levels in EISA Statute

LINCOLN (July 27, 2015) – Nebraska Farmers Union (NeFU) President John Hansen submitted comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urging the administration to set Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volume obligations to the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) statutory levels.

“NeFU strongly believes the volume standards issued in EPA’s proposed rule for RFS target levels represent a substantial but unnecessary step backwards relative to renewable energy development. The proposed EPA production targets send negative signals that will hurt investment. The EPA delay in proposing the production targets for 2014, 2015, and 2016 will not be finalized until the end of 2015. These production targets are supposed to be done in advance of the production years. The production levels reductions themselves are unnecessarily hurtful, and the lateness of the regulations is simply inexcusable,” said Hansen. “NeFU strongly urges the administration to comply with the RFS levels already provided in the popular, bipartisan EISA statute.”

“The proposed, lower volume standards reward the oil industry for not increasing consumer choice and dragging their feet with retail blender pump deployment. The proposed EPA volume standards ignore the will of Congress. Congress mandated these production levels, and for less than good cause, EPA rolls them back. That is very concerning,” said Hansen. “EPA should hold the oil industry to the proposed targets. That would be consistent with the Administration’s support for renewable fuel development, and the need to build the consumer retail fuels infrastructure necessary to use higher-level ethanol blends.”

Hansen noted the proposed rule is inconsistent with the administration’s climate resiliency goals and policies that are needed to mitigate the threats climate change poses to family agriculture. He said the RFS is a forward looking roadmap for renewable energy that is good for the economy, the rural economy in particular, energy independence, air quality, and carbon and GHG emission reductions.

“EPA should pursue GHG emission reductions at every opportunity to try to mitigate climate change as much as possible,” said Hansen. “The RFS offers tremendous capacity to reduce GHGs by encouraging the use of transportation fuels that emit fewer GHGs than petroleum-based transportation fuels.

“NeFU respectfully asks EPA and the Obama Administration to reverse the unnecessary step backwards the EPA proposed production targets represents. Our nation needs to move forward with more renewable energy production, not backwards, especially given the projected size of the 2015 corn crop and the painful drop in corn and grain prices. Common sense needs to prevail in this major economic and environmental regulation. The proposed EPA ethanol production standards need to be reversed.”

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