Statement by Ms. Ryan Alexander, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volumes for 2019:
Washington, DC – Yesterday, the EPA released its proposed RFS volumes for 2019, also known as Renewable Volume Obligations or RVOs. While all the Washington-centric acronyms make this appear benign, the reality is the underlying policy hurts taxpayers and consumers all across our country.
Enacted in 2005 and expanded in 2007, the federal RFS mandate was aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and spurring the next generation of biofuels from non-food sources. However, the mandate to use biofuels has instead been primarily met with mature, first-generation biofuels such as corn ethanol and soy biodiesel that fail to significantly reduce emissions. In fact, over three-fourths of the 2019 mandate is expected to be met with corn ethanol, a biofuel that has received federal subsidies for four decades.
Instead of waiting yet another year for the RFS to veer further off-track, Congress should step in to finally end market-distorting biofuels subsidies that pick winners and losers. As numerous independent analysts have concluded, the RFS is unlikely to meet its goals by 2022. We should act now to prevent further costs to taxpayers and consumers.