EPA MADE THE RIGHT DECISION, SAYS RFA
August 7, 2008 – Washington, DC – Reacting to the announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it denied the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) waiver request by Texas Governor Rick Perry, Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen issued the following statement:
“This is an important victory for all Americans. Today’s EPA decision recognizes the importance of biofuels to the American economy. The Renewable Fuels Standard is critical to our nation’s goals of reducing oil imports, addressing environmental challenges and developing the promising next generation of biofuels from cellulosic feedstocks.
“The RFS is designed to expand annual biofuel use to 36 billion gallons by 2022 with 21 billion gallons from switch grass, wood chips, municipal garbage, and other cellulosic sources. If EPA had agreed to the waiver request, our oil import dependence would have increased. Moreover, such a decision would have sabotaged the development and growth of new technologies and a cellulosic biofuels industry. Thankfully, the EPA recognized this grave risk and rejected the waiver request.
“At the end of the day, the EPA rejected the waiver request for failing to present sufficient evidence showing that the RFS was causing severe harm to the US or even to the Texas economy. Rightly, the EPA took notice of studies by Texas A&M University, Purdue University, and others which clearly state that skyrocketing oil prices are the main driver behind higher corn prices. These studies also lay bare the fact that reducing the RFS would have minimal impact on the price of corn.
“EPA’s decision is a benefit to the US economy, because increasing domestic ethanol production is keeping gasoline and oil prices lower than they otherwise would be thereby saving the average American household as much as $500 a year in lower transportation costs.
“Most economists now recognize the real severe economic harm is being done by the skyrocketing price of oil and not by ethanol production. In fact, without ethanol production the damage from high oil prices would be even worse.
“We applaud the EPA for keeping America squarely on the path toward greater energy independence.”