Dear Administrator McCarthy:
We are writing regarding the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rule setting blending targets under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for 2017. We urge you to ensure that the final rule promote growth in the U.S. biofuel sector and capture economic opportunity rather than drive investment overseas.
When Congress adopted the RFS in 2005, and expanded it in 2007, it intended to put in place a stable, forward-looking policy to drive innovation and investments in biorefining capacity and distribution infrastructure to bring biofuels to American consumers.
The stability of the policy has led to hundreds of millions of dollars of investment in the biofuels sector. America's production capacity has expanded more than threefold since 2005 with fuels such as biodiesel, cellulosic, recycled-waste, algal and other advanced biofuels. The biofuel industry supports hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the country, reduces the environmental impact of our transportation and energy sectors, and cuts our reliance on foreign oil.
As a result of the Agency's consideration of distribution infrastructure when setting the Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) for 2014, 2015, and 2016, contrary to the clearly defined waiver authority provided by Congress, biofuel investment has fallen and projects are moving overseas.
We cannot afford to cede our leadership position in the world. A strong RFS, and more biofuels, make our country more secure. It increases competition and choice, strengthening our economy. We urge you to take the opportunity to get the program back on track by setting blending targets where Congress intended and by removing the distribution waiver.