Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association's Testimony To The EPA On The 2018 RFS

  • Tuesday, 01 August 2017 11:14

The Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association (MBA) joined many other members of the ethanol industry in Washington D.C. today to testify at the EPA's public hearing over its proposed RVOs for 2018. Below is MBA executive director, Tim Rudnicki's, full testimony.

Good morning! I am Timothy Rudnicki, the executive director of the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association based in Minneapolis.

Minnesota biofuel producers are innovating everyday. They are finding new ways to cut energy inputs and recycle water. And they are finding new ways to harness technology and biology so as to obtain even greater amounts of environmentally friendly biofuel from each ton of renewable biomass.

The driver behind this production of biofuels and ongoing innovation is the Renewable Fuel Standard. The RFS set a new course for America’s energy policy. The RFS helped put the United States on a path to energy sustainability by moving us beyond a petroleum-based economy.

To help fulfill the terms of the RFS and the Congressional intent to put us on this new energy path, Minnesota biofuel producers relied upon the inherent stability and predictability of the RFS to make the necessary long-term investments. The women and men who comprise the biofuel producers in Minnesota relied upon the RFS to round up capital to put steel in the ground and assemble teams of hardworking Minnesotans to operate the plants that make the biofuel.

Through the combination of a relatively stable RFS and the commitment of Minnesota biofuel producers, collectively, we will meet the Renewable Volume Obligation for renewable fuel. And it is this same set of biofuel producers who hold the potential to meet the RVO for cellulosic and advanced biofuel.

Given what we have accomplished in under 10 years, coupled with the evolving production capability of the existing biofuel plants, we are indeed on a trajectory to meet the next RVO challenge. The question is whether the U.S. EPA will observe the inherent stability and predictability of the RFS?

As Minnesota biofuel producers build, expand or modernize their plants, as they test new enzymes and yeast and processes to convert corn fiber and other biomass to renewable fuel, can they count on the RVO to reflect the pent up production potential?

As the EPA adjusts the RVO, we respectfully request that the Agency recognize the vast potential that resides in the current biofuel plants. Our existing biofuel plants hold tremendous potential to leverage the rapidly evolving advanced biofuel production technology.

We respectfully request that the EPA set ambitious RVO targets so the biofuel industry is given a positive signal that there will be continued value in making the necessary investments to produce advanced biofuel.

We respectfully request the EPA to set RVO’s which reflect the provisions of the RFS and Congressional intent so as to keep moving us, as a Nation, to an even more sustainable energy path based on using more renewable biomass.

Our written comments will elaborate upon these points.

Thank you for accepting my testimony.

Respectfully submitted,

Timothy J. Rudnicki, Esq.