The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Obama:
As governors who support the public policy and economic benefits that flow from biofuels, we write today to express our strong opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposed rule that would significantly reduce ethanol and biodiesel choices for consumers as enabled in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The EPA proposal would have a negative impact on family incomes, the diversification of our energy portfolio, economic development in rural communities, and emissions reduction across our nation.
The renewable fuels that are proudly used by consumers across the country, are produced with American-grown corn, soybeans, wood chips and other important biomass resources that are processed through biofuels facilities that employ thousands, all while injecting millions into agribusiness and local economies. More than 400,000 Americans depend on renewable fuels for good-paying jobs that support rewarding careers in our states. According to the Renewable Fuels Association and LMC International, 44,500 of these jobs could be lost due to the EPA proposed rule. This proposed rule would greatly hinder our states' efforts to foster policies that create jobs, grow family incomes, and revitalize our economies.
If the EPA's currently proposed rule becomes final, the negative impact would be disproportionately felt by rural America. According to an Iowa State University estimate, corn prices alone could drop nineteen cents per bushel based on the proposed rule, which could bring corn prices below the cost of production for many farmers. The proposed EPA rule could also cause a ripple effect on agri-business, our communities, and the entire economy.
We urge your Administration to use its regulatory authority in a manner that both supports a growing renewable fuels industry and meets the statutory requirements of the law. Specifically, we hope that you will encourage the EPA to increase the biodiesel volume to reflect current production levels, modify the cellulosic target to match production expectations, and reinstate the statutory conventional renewable fuel target since there is clearly no domestic supply shortage. The gradually increasing RFS levels have been an important part of diversifying our nation's transportation fuels and reducing fuel costs at the pump.
We appreciate your past support for renewable fuels and the commitments you have pledged. We hope you will protect the RFS, renew your commitment, and stand strong along with us, consumers, and agricultural producers in supporting American-made renewable fuels.