The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) sets a path for U.S. energy security, reduced reliance on foreign oil and a cleaner environment; and it’s working said the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) in response to the United Nations call to temporarily suspend the RFS.

“The federal RFS serves as the anchor for a set of policies that support creation of the biobased economy. Sustained, consistent and diverse support is needed to ensure results.”

“The United Nations call for a suspension of the RFS is unwarranted,” said Brent Erickson, executive vice president for BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section. “Long-term policy changes are not the answer to short-term conditions. Solutions proposed to-date will provide no immediate relief to animal producers or farmers impacted by the drought, but Congressional action could have unintended economic impacts on farmers and biofuel producers over several years.

“An Iowa State study demonstrates that waiving the RFS would reduce corn prices by less than 5 percent. Instead, we should look to technology as the long-term solution. Biotechnology, which has already made a significant contribution to increases in farm productivity, is working on solutions for drought tolerance. Biotechnology also enables production of advanced biofuels from new sources, including crop and forest residues, energy crops and municipal solid waste.

“Waiving the RFS, even temporarily, will cause instability and uncertainty among investors in advanced biofuels and farmers growing next-generation energy crops. The RFS opens the fuel market to biofuels, but the rules provide fuel distributors extraordinary flexibility for compliance. When corn prices are high, due to shortages, the market can adjust and we’ve seen just that as advanced biofuels are beginning to make headway in the market. In fact, the first gallons of cellulosic biofuel were brought to the commercial market just this past April.

“The federal RFS serves as the anchor for a set of policies that support creation of the biobased economy. Sustained, consistent and diverse support is needed to ensure results.”