RFS is supposed to be a tool for market access, not market restriction, says Shaw
Shaw continues, "It's not just the absurdity of lowering the 2014 numbers below the 2013 level, with the new waiver framework, in essence, the Administration would be ceding power to the petroleum industry to dictate the level of each year's RVO based on the amount of infrastructure the petroleum industry was willing to install. That is the exact opposite of how the RFS was intended to work. The RFS is supposed to be a tool for market access, not market restriction."
In addition to creating an extra-legal waiver mechanism, the proposal lowers the "corn ethanol" level from 13.8 billion gallons called for by the RFS in 2013 to only 13 billion gallons in 2014. The proposal also freezes the biodiesel level at 1.28 billion gallons despite the fact the biodiesel industry is currently operating at an annualized rate of 2 billion gallons.
Shaw hopes we don't have to look back at Nov. 15, 2013 as the start of the next farm financial crisis
"The 2014 numbers represent the real crossroads," concludes Shaw. "We either move toward more competition and more consumer choice or we lock in the current petroleum monopoly. When faced with that choice, the Obama Administration has blinked. I think we've just seen how politically powerful Big Oil really is. They just got what they wanted from EPA when they had no chance of gutting the RFS through Congress. With no Farm Bill and the RFS in danger of being rendered useless, I hope we don't look back at November 15, 2013 as the beginning of the next farm crisis."
Iowa is the leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 42 ethanol refineries capable of producing over 3.8 billion gallons annually, with three cellulosic ethanol facilities currently under construction. In addition, Iowa has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 315 million gallons annually. The IRFA was formed in 2002 to represent the state's liquid renewable fuels industry. The trade group fosters the development and growth of the renewable fuels industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development.