OPINION: Renewable Fuel Standard key to strong future for local economiesLater this fall, the Environmental Protection Agency will decide on a waiver request for the Renewable Fuel Standard — the country’s most successful energy policy in more than 40 years.
By: Jeff Broin and Wesley Clark , Guest columnists
Later this fall, the Environmental Protection Agency will decide on a waiver request for the Renewable Fuel Standard — the country’s most successful energy policy in more than 40 years.
If the EPA goes forward with the waiver, it will drastically impact not only the direction of our country, but the future of communities that rely on agriculture and renewable fuel.
The RFS is more than just an energy policy; it is keeping jobs and U.S. dollars here rather than sending them overseas to oil-producing countries. It is having an impact in your town.
Not only does the biofuels industry help communities grow, it helps them weather tough economic times.
Local effects from the current drought would be magnified if farmers had one less market for selling grain. The local job market, land values and overall economic health of communities would suffer.
The RFS provides a stable vision for the future, which already has prompted investments for advanced biofuels and promises to attract even more investment in the future.
We are a nation rich in resources, many of which are presently discarded and neglected, but which could turn into sources of energy.
Crop residue, municipal waste and wood scraps, to name a few, all have the potential to be used as energy alternatives that would revolutionize how Americans consume everything from gas to plastics. These crops can foster a new boom in agriculture, providing opportunities and new revenue for farmers.
This future is at risk due to opportunistic companies who have seized onto the public’s fear of the drought and used it to try to undermine biofuels policy for corporate gain.
Advanced biofuels companies need certainty to spend capital on new technologies, research and infrastructure, and banks need that certainty to supply the needed loans and cash assurances to run a business. Future job growth in the industry and its supply chain also depends on policy stability.
Contact the EPA today and tell them to protect the RFS and support the future prosperity of America.
Jeff Broin is the Executive Chairman of the board for POET, LLC, a South Dakota-based ethanol company, and Gen. Wesley K. Clark (retired) is the co-chairman for Growth Energy, a national ethanol awareness organization.