September 17, 2013

Renewable Fuels Provide Energy Independence


sept renewable fuels monthSeptember is Renewable Fuels Month! We are celebrating by conversing about the benefits and talking out the issues around the renewable fuels industry here in Nebraska to Capitol Hill.

Here’s what you need to know about the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS).

The RFS continues to be scrutinized in Congress, by groups such as the American Petroleum Institute (API), grocery manufacturers, and other industries.

The RFS was created under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and required 7.5 billion gallons of renewable fuel to be blended into gasoline by 2012 to reduce our dependence on imported oil and provide energy independence and security.

In 2007, the RFS program was expanded to include diesel, increased the amount of fuel required to be blended into transportation fuel to 36 billion gallons in 2022, created new categories of renewable fuels including advanced, cellulosic, and conventional and evaluated the lifecycle of greenhouse gases to ensure each category was meeting a minimum threshold.

The RFS is doing exactly what it was intended to do. “Each year we are producing more renewable fuels in the United States. In 2012 we reduced our imported crude oil by nearly 600 million barrels and 1.1 billion gallons of imported petroleum diesel,” said David Merrell, corn farmer and District 7 director for the Nebraska Corn Board.

Biodiesel and ethanol are homegrown and locally produced and contribute to our energy independence and security. But that is not all. Over 1,500 are employed in rural Nebraska because of renewable fuels.

“There are rural communities that probably wouldn’t have the opportunities they do today if it wasn’t for renewable fuels,” said Merrell. “Renewable fuels support the local farmer and provide as much as $3 million in tax revenue for Nebraska.”

The RFS is reducing our dependency in imported oil, providing a homegrown, locally produced renewable fuel, creating jobs, providing tax revenue, and more. Renewable fuels are a win-win situation for the farmers, rural communities, and consumers.

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