U.S. Farm & Biofuel Leaders Urge White House to Embrace Homegrown Solutions

Oct 22, 2021

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America’s top biofuel and farm advocates called on President Biden to swiftly expand access to lower-carbon, lower-cost biofuels as the administration seeks to address the rising cost of fuel. In a letter to the White House, rural leaders noted that biofuels hold the power to “insulate consumers from volatile oil markets by extending the fuel supply, much like releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, but with sustainable results.”

“Simply extracting more oil – or importing it from Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) – won’t deliver the results you are seeking for consumers or the climate,” warned the Advanced Biofuels Business Council, American Soybean Association, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Growth Energy, National Biodiesel Board, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, National Sorghum Producers, Renewable Fuels Association, and Fuels America.

To promote competitive prices while reducing emissions, biofuel and farm advocates also urged regulators to act swiftly on long-awaited biofuel blending requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

“You can put American motorists first by aggressively pursuing your stated goal of ‘doubling down on the liquid fuels of the future which make agriculture a key part of the solution to climate change.’ On the cusp of COP-26, this is an opportunity to show that the United States is serious about embracing new, cleaner solutions to age-old challenges,” they added.

Full text of the letter follows: 

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing to encourage your administration to look more closely at solutions offered by the U.S. biofuel industry to protect the economy from rising gas prices while reducing carbon emissions. Simply extracting more oil – or importing it from Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) – won’t deliver the results you are seeking for consumers or the climate. 

U.S. oil prices hit a seven-year high of nearly $84 per barrel on October 18, driven by recovering global demand and tightening supplies. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), “Retail gasoline prices are mainly affected by crude oil prices and the level of gasoline supply relative to gasoline demand.” Biofuels insulate consumers from volatile oil markets by extending the fuel supply, much like releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, but with sustainable results.  

Biofuels are a renewable and homegrown solution that drives rural economies, significantly reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and supports the middle class. For example, the biofuel industry has a higher share of union jobs than the U.S. private sector average and is more union dense than most other renewable energy sectors. In recent weeks, ethanol has sold for 25-30 cents per gallon less than gasoline at the wholesale level. And the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, as well as a wide range of independent and academic research, has confirmed that biofuels deliver a 44-126% greenhouse gas emissions reduction relative to petroleum. 

The U.S. biofuel industry is already one of the largest renewable energy sectors in the world. But we are being held back by inconsistent and delayed administration of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). 

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