The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens


RFA celebrates 6th anniversary of RFS

The Renewable Fuels Association on Thursday celebrated the sixth anniversary of the signing of the law that expanded the Renewable Fuel Standard by publishing a report on what RFA considers its accomplishments.

RFA noted that President George W. Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 after the Senate voted 86-6 and the House voted 314-100 in favor of it.

The RFS required rapid growth in the consumption of renewable fuels, culminating in 36 billion gallons in 2022, required renewable fuels to meet certain environmental performance thresholds, and created specific categories for cellulosic and advanced biofuels, RFA noted.

“Just six years later, tremendous progress has been made toward achieving the original objectives of the expanded RFS,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen.

“Renewable fuel production and consumption has grown dramatically,” he noted. “Dependence on petroleum — particularly imports of refined products — is down significantly. Greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector have fallen. The value of agricultural products is up appreciably. And communities across the country have benefited from the job creation, increased tax revenue, and heightened household income that stems from the construction and operation of a biorefinery.”

“Meanwhile, the doomsday outcomes threatened by opponents of the RFS simply have not materialized,” Dinneen said. “Agricultural land use continues to shrink, the Gulf of Mexico ‘dead zone’ continues to contract, deforestation rates continue to fall, and food price inflation has followed historical trends.”

But the oil industry, the meat industry and some vehicle groups have complained about the standard, as gasoline consumption has declined and U.S. domestic oil production has expanded, raising questions about the need for renewable fuels.

The Obama administration has proposed reducing the volumetric requirements for renewable fuels in 2014 and some members of Congress have proposed repealing the RFS.