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Issue Background

Renewable Fuel Standard

The RFS is making a positive and important difference for our economy and environment.  We encourage Congress to keep the progress going by maintaining support for America’s RFS.

An American Success Story

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) is grateful to Congress for its vision in enacting the RFS and we urge continued support for it.  The RFS costs taxpayers nothing and is working as intended to spur economic growth and provide consumers with lower-cost, cleaner fuel choices.

The RFS has helped revitalize the American economy, adding $500 billion to farm assets in the last five years.  In 2013 alone, the domestic ethanol industry contributed $44 billion to our GDP, generated $31 billion in household income, added $8.3 billion in tax revenue, and created nearly 400,000 direct and indirect jobs that can’t be outsourced.   According to preliminary census results from USDA, the value of agricultural products in the U.S. has increased nearly $100 billion since the RFS2 was enacted in 2007.

Every American family saved $1200 on their gasoline expenses in 2012 thanks to the RFS, based on research by the University of Wisconsin and Iowa State University who found ethanol reduced wholesale gas prices by an average of $1.09 per gallon across the country.  Consumers spent more than twice as much on fuel in 2012 as they did ten years ago, primarily because new oil being found today costs twice as much to get out of the ground.  Last year each motorist paid $2800 for fuel, and without the RFS, they would have spent more than $4000.  Longtime oil industry economist Philip Verleger said “…the U.S. renewable fuel program has cut annual consumer expenditures in 2013 between $700 billion and $2.6 trillion.  This translates to consumers paying between $0.50 and $1.50 per gallon less for gasoline.”

Foreign oil imports dropped to just 35 percent in 2013, and the RFS helped save more than $40 billion in foreign oil purchases.  Ethanol production today displaces the need for 470 million barrels of oil, that’s more than we bought from both Russia and Iraq last year.  Net petroleum import dependence would be 41 percent without the 13.3 billion gallons of ethanol produced in 2013.

Ethanol cut pollution from greenhouse gas emissions by 38 million metric tons in 2013, similar to permanently parking nearly 8 million vehicles – that’s every car and pickup in Florida.  According to the U.S. Department of Energy, corn ethanol today reduces lifecycle GHG emissions by 34 to 44 percent compared to gasoline.  The University of Illinois at Chicago studied the lifecycle GHG emissions of future sources of petroleum and corn ethanol, finding that ethanol will cut emissions by 60 percent compared to gasoline in 2022.

The RFS is a catalyst for technology innovation and private-sector investment in advanced biofuels.  At least four cellulosic ethanol facilities are set to begin operations in 2014.  First movers in this sector have invested billions of dollars in advanced biofuels based on the expectation the U.S. would maintain its commitment to the RFS.  Ensuring the RFS works as intended to break through the so-called E10 blend wall is critical for advanced ethanol companies deployment plans.

The RFS is making a positive and important difference for our economy and environment.  We encourage Congress to keep the progress going by maintaining support for America’s RFS.