WASHINGTON, June 14, 2017 - Since the original Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was authorized under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, “tremendous progress” has been made toward its goals of energy security, clean air and boosting local economies, according to an analysis by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). The RFS requires oil companies to blend increasing volumes of renewable fuels with gasoline and diesel, culminating with 36 billion gallons in 2022.
The analysis, “RFS Impacts: By the Numbers,” comes as EPA is expected to soon issue its proposed 2018 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the RFS. The analysis shows the number of operational U.S. ethanol plants grew from 81 in 2005 to 213 in 2016 while ethanol production jumped from 3.9 billion gallons to 15.3 billion gallons.
At the same time, ethanol industry jobs grew 121 percent from 153,725 in 2005 to 339,176 in 2016, and the value of the industry’s output quadrupled from $8.1 billion to $32.8 billion. Corn production also increased, from 11.1 billion bushels in 2005 to 15.2 billion gallons in 2016, while average yields grew from 147.9 bushels per acre to 174.6 bushels per acre.
The nation’s petroleum net import dependence also dropped, from 60 percent in 2005 to 25 percent in 2016 – and without ethanol would have been 33 percent last year, according to the analysis. Meanwhile, RFA says the “negative outcomes” that RFS opponents suggested would occur “simply have not materialized.” RFA CEO Bob Dinneen says the RFS has made a “huge impact” on consumers, providing them with greater choice at the pump, while cleaning the air and boosting local economies.
“With EPA expected to propose its 2018 RFS obligations in the near future, the agency needs to look no further than this document for what impact this vital program has had on our nation,” Dinneen says. To read the analysis, click here.