FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 17, 2018
Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106
WASHINGTON – The administration must continue to build on the success of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and promote expanded use of American-grown biofuels if it is to promote the economic viability of family farmers and the vibrancy of rural communities, that according to the nation’s second largest general farm organization.
In public comments filed to the EPA today, National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to enforce the RFS’s 15-billion-gallon requirement for conventional biofuels, increase the advanced biofuel volume requirements for 2020, and ensure recent waivers of the RFS does not undermine the intent of the law.
“As family farmers navigate a severely depressed farm economy, this is a time the administration should be raising expectations for a policy that drives America’s rural economy,” said Johnson. “We urge the administration to increase proposed volumes for the RFS in 2019 and to reject any calls to further reduce the volumes.”
Johnson cited the numerous benefits of enforcing the RFS as it was written, including job creation and investment in rural communities, economic opportunity for family farmers, increased competition in the transportation fuels market, greenhouse gas emissions reduction, and lower transportation fuel prices for consumers.
“Biofuels create a price-stabilizing mechanism, encourage much-needed reinvestment in our rural communities, and contribute significantly to net farm income,” said Johnson. “President Trump and his administration should follow through on their assurances to family farmers and rural residents that this administration will support biofuels and uphold the intent of Congress as it relates to the RFS.”
Johnson urged EPA to ensure the RFS increases the use of renewable fuels in the U.S. transportation system, noting that this is “the fundamental objective of the Renewable Fuel Program” as written by Congress. Therefore, the agency should true up volume requirements to account for the lost demand caused by the agency’s previous handling of the law. Recent actions, such as “hardship waivers” to companies that reap windfall profits each year, have destroyed billions of gallons worth in demand for American farm products, further exacerbating already low commodity prices for family farmers.
“Recent wavering on the RFS has caused enormous setbacks in advanced biofuels, including cellulosic biofuel development, and, consequently, delayed important greenhouse gas emission reductions,” said Johnson. “But, EPA can still regain some lost ground, and NFU would be supportive of and most grateful for such efforts.”
Johnson’s full comments can be accessed here.
To download an audio file of Roger Johnson’s quote, visit our website at nfu.org/audio.
National Farmers Union advocates on behalf of nearly 200,000 American farm families and their communities. We envision a world in which farm families and their communities are respected, valued, and enjoy economic prosperity and social justice.