July 7, 2016

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106
[email protected]

WASHINGTON (July 7, 2016) – On behalf of nearly 200,000 family farm and ranch members, National Farmers Union (NFU) submitted public comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today, advocating for the agency to adjust their proposed Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) volume obligations for 2017. The proposed volume requirements were well-below the mandated levels established by Congress in 2007.

“When properly implemented, the RFS provides many benefits for the climate, rural America, and our nation’s food security. It’s disappointing that the EPA would undermine these attributes when proposing volume requirements. Climate change is happening, and it is impairing our ability to pursue increased global food security. The Agency must raise the volume requirements to meet the mandated volumes in their final rule,” said NFU President Roger Johnson.

NFU previously questioned the proposed rule for placing the interests of Big Oil above the Administration’s broader climate objectives. In addition, EPA used waiver authority that the authorizing statute does not provide, Johnson explains.

“In this proposed rule, EPA attempts to use waiver authority that it does not have to reward the obligated parties for resisting the changes they are required to make, an outcome that is even more offensive since these interests have been awarded an undeserved deferment since 2014,” he added in the comments.

The RFS provides opportunities for farmers and consumers to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by producing and using renewable transportation fuels with lower lifetime emissions than transportation fuels derived from fossil sources. According to a 2015 study, the RFS will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 138 million metric tons by 2022 – the equivalent to taking about 27 million vehicles off the road – if RFS statutory volume obligations are followed.

Unfortunately, wavering on the RFS rule has caused enormous setbacks in biofuel development and, consequently, delayed important GHG emission reductions.

“The final rule offers EPA another chance to regain some lost ground on the RFS, and NFU remains supportive of such efforts,” Johnson concluded.

NFU’s comments to the EPA can be read in full here.

National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.


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