The American Farm Bureau Federation filed its comments regarding the Environmental Protection Agency's 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard requirements late last week, suggesting the agency scrap plans to lower volumes.
The proposal, which lowers the mandate to 15.2 billion gallons of renewable fuels, "strikes a blow to conventional ethanol production," says AFBF Executive Director of Public Policy Dale Moore.
Moore said the policy dampens the prospects for the further development of advanced biofuels and goes against previous goals for the policy and an opportunity to create a pathway for achieving energy independence.
In its comments, Farm Bureau suggested that the EPA stay the course with 2014 policy to meet statutory targets of 18.15 billion gallons of renewable fuels next year. That total would include 14.4 billion gallons of conventional ethanol and 3.75 billion gallons of advanced biofuels.
Related: RFS Comments Continue to Roll In
"Renewable fuels have been a tremendous success story for the nation as a whole as well as to the rural economy," continued Moore. "The RFS2 has reduced our country's dependence on foreign crude oil, reduced air pollution, increased farm incomes and has provided good paying jobs within rural America."
AFBF argues that since the installation of the RFS, the U.S. "has seen tremendous growth within the agricultural sector."
AFBF notes that agricultural exports have increased 57%, total livestock output has increased 31% and total crop output has increased 44%. Additionally, since 2007, the United States has seen crude oil imports decrease from 60% of total use down to 40%, they said.
"If the 2014 volume requirements are finalized, this decision would stall growth and progress in each of these areas," AFBF concluded.
The deadline for submitting comments via the Federal Register is Jan. 28.