ACORE Leads Coalition of Industry Stakeholders to Direct the Comments Document
Washington, D.C., January 28, 2014 - Today, the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) announced that it has submitted comments to the USEPA on its proposed 2014 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS). The comments were compiled by a diverse coalition of industry stakeholders convened by ACORE.
"We at ACORE were quite dismayed by what looks like an economic abandonment of the U.S. renewable fuels, farm and forest communities," said ACORE President & CEO, Michael Brower. "Even more distressing is the fact that USEPA was ‘cherry-picking' their statutory mandates under the Clean Air Act (CAA) to create the 'blend wall' construct that is now used as a justification for lowering for the first time the amount of renewable fuel blended into gasoline under the RFS. The American consumer, our lungs, renewable fuels, farm and forest communities are going to pay the price. As stewards of the CAA in this matter, USEPA is just plain wrong."
ACORE calls on USEPA to raise its 2014 RVO to the statutory mandate of 18.15 billion gallons of total renewable fuel. In addition, it should take concrete steps to fulfill its statutory mandates under Sections 202(l) and 211(c) of the CAA to reduce harmful air pollutants, thereby eliminating the "blend wall."
ACORE cautions USEPA that their proposal to reduce the annual RVO targets based on outdated data and the artificial constraint of the "blend wall" – will immediately go into litigation if it goes ahead. This would create significant market uncertainty, stymieing investment and crippling the renewable fuels industry. Additionally, USEPA's decision to decrease the 2014 RVO below the statutorily mandated level will have adverse effects on America's economy, national security, and environment. Renewable fuels reduce fuel costs Americans pay at the pumps, support over 400,000 jobs in America's heartland, and emit significantly less greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than petroleum.
"The EPA's proposed renewable fuel volumes are well below what the American ethanol industry is capable of supplying for American drivers in 2014, and it is even below the 13.8 billion gallons the ethanol industry supplied in 2013," said ACORE Board member and Senior Vice President of POET, Doug Berven. "As a leader in the renewable energy sector, ACORE understands how important a strong RFS is to the overall development of alternatives to fossil fuels and is committed to breaking down the walls of the status quo and moving to a more sustainable energy future. We know moving backwards from 2013 will undermine the positive effect American ethanol has had in reducing our dependence on foreign oil, lowering tailpipe emissions, strengthening rural America, and reducing the price at the pump. I applaud ACORE for standing up for the Renewable Fuel Standard and insisting that we provide a choice to consumers outside of a single fuel source. ACORE believes we must seek ways to build on our progress, not move backwards."
"Congress expressly and intentionally created the RFS to incent the rapid development of qualified renewable fuels, and particularly the production of new and unique advanced biofuels as part of the U.S. goal to reach 100% energy independence at the earliest possible moment," said ACORE's General Counsel and Co-head of the Energy & Project Finance Practice at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, Mark J. Riedy. "In fact, those countries that control their energy sources significantly control their destinies. In this regard, ACORE vigorously supports the maintenance of the RFS targets enacted by Congress to reach carefully agreed-to annual production levels of 36 billion gallons per year under scheduled mandated amounts over a period of years. The RFS is critical to the financing and roll-out of these renewable fuels, particularly in light of the unscheduled substantial economic downturn faced by the technology developers of these fuels since 2008. Now, more than ever, industry and the U.S. government collectively must adhere to the statutory targets enacted to enable the production of these renewable fuels in order to reach the overall goal of rapid U.S. energy independence. Nothing less is an acceptable alternative."
ACORE is proud to have led the diverse group of stakeholders in submitting comments to urge USEPA to raise its 2014 RVO proposal. ACORE continues to be a convener for the renewable energy and renewable fuels industries. Members of ACORE's RVO comments coalition include:
*Dan Adler, ACORE's Board Co-Chair and Managing Director, California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF)
*Ron Alverson, President of the Board, American Coalition for Ethanol
*Jacques Beaudry-Losique, Senior Vice President, Corporate and Business Development, Algenol Biofuels Inc.
*Doug Berven, Senior Vice President, POET
*Andy Braff, Associate, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (WSGR)
*Tom Buis, Chief Executive Officer, Growth Energy
*Brooke Coleman, Executive Director, Advanced Ethanol Coalition
*Bruce Dale, University Distinguished Professor, Michigan State University
*Todd Foley, Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Relations, American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE)
*David Hallberg, Chairman & CEO, Prime Bio Solutions
*James Hewett, Policy Associate, American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE)
*William Holmberg, Biomass Coordinator, American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE)
*Benjamin Lang, Biomass Council Intern, American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE)
*John Jimison, Managing Director, Energy Future Coalition
*Taite McDonald, Senior Advisor, Energy & Clean Technology Government Initiatives, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (WSGR)
*John Mullen, Senior Advisor McLarty Associates
*Dan Reicher, ACORE's Board Co-Chair and Executive Director of the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, Stanford University
*Mark Reidy, ACORE's General Counsel and co-head of the Energy & Project Finance Practice, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton
*Jeramy Shays, Director of Renewable Liquid Transportation Fuels, American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE)
*Ernie Shea, Project Coordinator, 25x25
ACORE, a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization, is dedicated to building a secure and prosperous America with clean, renewable energy. ACORE seeks to advance renewable energy through finance, policy, technology, and market development and is concentrating its member focus in 2014 on National Defense & Security, Power Generation & Infrastructure, and Transportation. Additional information is available at www.acore.org.