The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which requires a certain amount of biofuels to be blended into the fuel supply, was created to increase consumer choice at the pump and to break down barriers to market entry for alternative fuels. The EPA recently proposed lowering this standard, which would jeopardize many of the thousands of jobs the ethanol industry supports across the country and in the state of Iowa.
While reducing the renewable fuels volume will have a direct impact on the grain ethanol industry, it will also affect advanced technologies, such as cellulosic bio-ethanol that we are developing right here in Emmetsburg. As companies look to pursue second-generation biofuels, the grain ethanol industry must remain strong so producers can invest in new technologies.
In addition, Project LIBERTY, the joint venture between POET and Dutch-based DSM, will share staff, a network of farmers and infrastructure with the grain ethanol plant next door. Market access is the key to expanding this technology. It's important the EPA demonstrate a firm commitment to our nation's renewable energy and let investors know they can rely on stable government policy.
Cellulosic bio-ethanol gives farmers another opportunity to market their products. By converting leftovers from the field such as corn cobs, leaves and husks, into fuel, this advanced technology opens the doors to endless options for sustainable fuel.
Here in Emmetsburg, we've seen the positive impact of the ethanol industry, as well as the construction involved with Project LIBERTY. 300 workers eat at our local restaurants, stay at our hotels and have even enrolled their kids in school. We're proud to be members of this community and to contribute to our local economy.
It's important that our nation's energy policy moves forward, not backward like this recent proposal. However, we still have time to make our voices heard. Please visit growthenergy.org to submit your comments to the EPA about how a biofuels reduction would affect you, your family and our community. The deadline to submit comments is January 28 so I encourage you to act now and to spread the word to friends and family. Join me in defending the RFS and our rural economies!
submitted by Daron Wilson