Ethanol Continues Attracting Congressional Attention
Friday, July 18, 2014
Posted by: Lindsey Johnson
Efforts to repeal the Renewable
Fuel Standard continue on Capitol Hill. The Congressional Budget Office just
published a report on RFS that evaluates how much biofuel production needs to grow
to comply with the program, as well as its impact on food prices, fuel prices and
emissions under several different scenarios.
The report addresses three
scenarios. Under the first, fuel suppliers would have to meet the total
requirement for RFS, the requirement for advanced biofuels and the cap on corn
ethanol as stated in the Energy Independence and Security Act. The cellulosic
requirement would not be required, because the capacity to produce enough fuels
is unlikely to be in place by 2017.
The second scenario, called the
2014 Volumes Scenario, would keep the RFS requirements for the next several
years at the same level as proposed for 2014.
The third scenario assumes
lawmakers abolish the RFS entirely.
The report claims it would be
difficult to meet the Volume Scenario in future years due to the expected
supply biofuels and ethanol that can be used for older vehicles and vessels. Regarding food prices, CBO says they would
be similar whether RFS was continued or repealed. The price of fuel, however,
would be impacted. The change is based on a prediction that the price of
gasoline will increase 30 cents to 51 cents per gallon. CBO hedged its comment
on emissions by saying most emissions benefits will depend on how much advanced
fuel is used.
A full copy of the CBO report,
titled "The Renewable Fuel Standard: Issues for 2014 and Beyond,” can be
downloaded from the CBO website.