WASHINGTON, D.C. Dec. 5, 2013 - In testimony before an EPA panel that is hearing public comment on agency plans to reduce biofuel blending requirements under the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), 25x'25 Alliance Steering Committee member Allen Rider said the proposal "represents a significant step back from the nation's previous path towards a more diversified energy future."
Furthermore, he said, "if implemented as proposed, [the reduction in blending targets] could deliver a fatal blow to the promise of bringing a new generation of clean domestic biofuels to the driving public."
Rider, a past president of New Holland North America, cites the effort by the 25x'25 Alliance to engage stakeholders and communicate how biofuels improve energy security, stimulate rural economic development and reduce emissions from transportation fuels, among other benefits.
"However, to propose reducing the total 2014 RFS requirements from 18.15 billion gallons down to 15.21 million gallons represents a reversal of a carefully constructed energy policy that is working," Rider told the EPA panel in Arlington today.
"The RFS has proven to be a highly effective policy for creating high quality jobs, strengthening our national security through reduced oil imports, and reducing overall fuel prices for consumers," he testified. "We must not now pull back on the reins and kill the momentum that is driving our nation to a stronger position in the global energy economy."
Rider acknowledged that production volumes of cellulosic biofuels have not met the expectations as set out in the legislation authorizing the RFS. But, he said, EPA "has responsibly responded by using its authority under the existing statute to adjust RFS implementation as needed in response to financial, technology and production challenges."
Still, "the cellulosic and advanced biofuels industry is on the verge of a significant breakthrough," Rider said, noting that three major cellulosic production facilities using agricultural residues and other non-food feedstocks are set to open next year, two in Iowa and one in Kansas. In addition, smaller plants are currently operating in Florida and Mississippi.
"If the EPA moves forward with its proposed standards, these could be the only plants that we see come online for years to come," he testified.
To read Rider's complete statement from today's hearing, click HERE.