National Farmers Union submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency last week supporting the EPA’s proposed volumes for cellulosic, advanced and other renewable fuels. Under section 211(o) of the Clean Air Act, the EPA is required to set the renewable fuel standards each November for the following year.
“NFU strongly believes that the United States should make the development of renewable sources of energy our number one priority in reducing dependence on fossil fuels,” said NFU President Roger Johnson in the comments. “As part of this we encourage EPA to incentivize the renewable fuels industry and American agriculture by creating ambitious targets for renewable energy production.”
NFU agreed that cellulosic and other advanced biofuels hold tremendous promise for farmers in providing a buffer for large fluctuations in commodity prices by diversifying the rural economy.
“The Department of Energy found that the United State produces 1.2. billion tons of agricultural and forest waste annual. This is enough feedstock to produce about 85 billion gallons of biofuels, or enough to replace 30 percent of America’s annual petroleum consumption,” Johnson wrote.
In 2012, the biofuels industry supported more than 400,000 jobs and generated a $500 billion increase in communities’ farm assets around the country and $42 billion in economic activity.