Last week we celebrated the ten year anniversary of the original Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) that was passed by Congress and signed into law by then President George W. Bush. Our own Governor Pete Ricketts in a tweet proclaimed August 8th as Renewable Fuel Standard Day. Others celebrated with a press release or op-ed. When the original RFS was being discussed, Congressional leaders knew we needed a change in the Nation’s path for transportation fuels. We needed to reduce our reliance on foreign petroleum, increase our demand for our crops and produce a fuel that was renewable and greener than oil.
Check. Check and Check. Now it’s time to celebrate…or is it??
What Congress and the President supported, the EPA has now taken away. Yea, you read that right. The agency that is tasked with providing cleaner air and supporting initiatives that improve the environment, is proposing to slash the very program that has been successful in these areas.
Just a couple of months ago, EPA proposed requirements that would slash Congress’ intentions of blending more renewable and cleaner burning ethanol in the nations fuel supply. They proposed to take the ole Texas two-step backwards in becoming more self-sufficient in our transportation fuels. And more importantly, proposed a plan that will ultimately cost consumers money.
By blending ethanol into our fuel supply, consumers are saving money each time they fill up. Whether it is on American Ethanol blends that everyone can use, such as E10, or on higher blends of American Ethanol such as E15, E30 and E85, biofuels has saved consumers money.
So while we should be celebrating our path forward, EPA has popped the balloons and allowed the cake to become stale to the detriment of consumers across the nation.