25x’25 Steering Committee Members Pen Op-Ed on Renewable Fuels Standard
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Submitted by EFC Team on August 21st, 2012

Two 25x’25 Steering Committee members, former Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD-AL) and former Congressman Tom Ewing (R-IL-15) wrote an opinion article for POLITICO on the need to retain the Renewable Fuels Standard, also known as the RFS.

They note that ethanol production has little effect on corn prices, but that it has a major impact on mitigating the United States’ dependence on expensive foreign oil imports. According to Sandlin and Ewing, “Domestic biofuels have reduced oil imports from the Persian Gulf region by 25 percent since 2000, and thanks in part to the RFS, U.S. oil imports fell below 50 percent for the first time since 1997, standing at about 45 percent today.”

The economic benefits of biofuels are critically important during a time of slow economic recovery and rising gasoline prices – the article points out that ethanol lowered U.S. gas prices by $1.09 per gallon in 2011, according to a study conducted by Iowa State University.

Finally, Sandlin and Ewing note that the RFS is critical to furthering research, development, and deployment of next-generation cellulosic biofuels made from non-food biomass such as wood and grass.

The close with the exhortation that, “Granting any waiver based solely on political expediency would be inappropriate. Indeed, that would pile disaster upon disaster for the very communities suffering from the drought, putting us on a path of undoing the RFS’s work longer-term. If our priority is helping rural America and continuing to enhance our energy security, we must prioritize protecting the RFS.”

The full article can be read on POLITICO.com here: http://politi.co/QVEoNf

Background
25x’25 is an initiative of the Energy Future Coalition with the vision that by 2025, America’s farms, forests and ranches will provide 25 percent of the total energy consumed in the United States, while continuing to produce safe, abundant, and affordable food, feed and fiber.

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