Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor outlined the top federal priorities of the U.S. biofuel industry, highlighting critical steps policymakers must take to achieve the nation’s energy and climate goals.
“If we want to decarbonize the transportation sector, we must use all the tools in the toolbox – including plant-based biofuels like ethanol, which reduce carbon emissions by 46 percent compared to gasoline,” said Skor.
“Affordable for drivers, earth-friendly, and engine smart,” she noted, “biofuels are the most abundant and readily available climate solution to immediately reduce carbon emissions for cars on the road today.
“The research shows that our climate goals cannot be realized without harnessing the power of homegrown energy,” she added. “That’s why it is critical that policymakers ensure that our farmers and rural producers remain at the forefront of the nation’s efforts to accelerate our transition to a healthier, zero-emission, 100% renewable energy future.”
Specifically, Skor highlighted the association’s key priorities, focusing on opportunities for regulators and policymakers to promote cleaner fuel choices, reduce carbon emissions, and protect the environment. These include:
Restore Certainty to the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS):
- Finalize strong Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) for 2021 and 2022
- Reject improper and illegal retroactive cuts to the already finalized 2020 RVOs
- Reject all pending and improperly granted small refinery exemptions (SREs)
- Restore the 500 million gallons remanded by the courts in 2017
- Set forward-leaning biofuel targets for 2023 and beyond that recognize the contributions of low-carbon ethanol in achieving climate goals
- Update EPA’s outdated lifecycle carbon assessment model
- Approve pending registrations for cellulosic biofuel from kernel fiber
Eliminate Barriers to Higher Blends of Low-Carbon Ethanol:
- Restore unrestricted access to E15 year-round
- Clarify rules around the use of existing fuel storage and dispensing equipment for E15
- Finalize EPA’s proposal to simplify onerous labeling requirements at fuel pumps
- Expand infrastructure for higher biofuel blends through legislative or administrative action
Utilize Biofuels as a Low-Cost Pathway to Achieve Climate Goals:
- Promote new uses for biofuels, including in aviation, marine, and heavy-duty applications
- Enact new and expand existing incentives to encourage ethanol producers to further reduce their carbon footprint through carbon capture, utilization, and storage, as well as innovation in biotechnology and sustainable agriculture
- Break down trade barriers to low-carbon ethanol in markets like Brazil, India, and China
- Utilize opportunities to decarbonize our nation’s transportation sector through the use of high octane, low-carbon fuels
“To build on the zero-carbon momentum driven by the Biden administration’s emphasis on climate change, addressing these priorities and utilizing biofuels is critical. We look forward to working with Congress and the White House to take these key steps toward a low-carbon future,” Skor said.