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The Honorable Barack Obama

United States of America
The White House
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is a critical policy reducing both our nations dependence on foreign
oil and greenhouse gas emissions. Your recent bold actions on climate are proof of your leadership and
commitment to prioritize climate issues. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agencys (EPA) 2014
proposed RFS rule, however, threatened these gains and jeopardized additional investment in cellulosic
and advanced fuels. Our industry implores you to take the same bold measures when it comes to
biofuels and protect the integrity of the RFS. Now that EPA has outlined its timeline, we urge you to
direct EPA to craft a new rule that supports growth for existing and new biofuels technologies and lives
up to the original intent of the bipartisan law.
The RFS is working and has resulted in significant environmental gains. For example, the RFS is
America's only fully implemented policy that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants. In
a 2012 study, Argonne National Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy showed that the lifecycle
CO2 emissions from traditional corn ethanol are 34% lower than gasoline. Cellulosic ethanol, an
advanced biofuel made from switchgrass, corn stover or miscanthus, represents a reduction in lifecycle
CO2 emissions of 88%, 96%, and 108%, respectively.
EPA's proposed 2014 rule would have put your climate legacy at risk. If finalized, the rule would have
increased the nations CO2 emissions by 21 million metric tons in 2014 alone, the equivalent of adding
5.5 new coal-fired power plants. Carrying the EPA's proposed approach forward in future years would
have triggered even larger increases in climate-altering emissions; by 2022, the cumulative emissions of
greenhouse gases would have been nearly 1 billion metric tons higher than would occur if EPA set the
RFS at statutory levels.1
In the U.S. this year, three new commercial scale cellulosic ethanol plants are online and will produce
the cleanest motor fuel in the world. In part, this achievement can be credited to the billions of dollars
of government investment in advanced biofuels over the past six years. If implemented as designed, the
RFS will continue to attract both domestic and foreign investment in cellulosic and advanced biofuels.
Unfortunately, EPA's proposal has temporarily frozen investment in the next wave of cellulosic ethanol
facilities here at home. Instead, the advanced biofuels industry sees dollars flowing to countries such as
China and Brazil because of their strong, stable policies. For example, your recent agreement with China
marks one of the largest steps in history toward combatting climate change at a global scale. China's
plan is to replace fossil fuels in its fuel supply with biofuels as part of a goal to increase non-fossil fuel
use to 20 percent. This means that China is well positioned to invest in cellulosic ethanol technology and
join Brazil as one of the worlds leaders.

Erickson, Brent; Carr, Matt; and Winters, Paul. Industrial Biotechnology. April 2014, 10(2): 57-63.

When it was passed, the RFS offered policy stability with a gradual and predictable ramping up of
renewable fuel targets year by year. It created the market certainty needed to foster private sector
investment in these new innovative fuels. The 2014 proposed rule undermined Congress's intent,
changing the rules midstream, creating uncertainty in the market and making it virtually impossible for
additional U.S. cellulosic ethanol facilities to secure financing and investor support.
If finalized, the 2014 proposed RFS rule would have utilized a flawed methodology for calculating the
quantity of biofuels that the industry can produce. It would codify a limit on biofuels production based
on the quantity that the oil industry brings to market, a 10 percent limit, rather than what our industry is
able to produce. This approach is at odds with the goals of the RFS and jeopardizes the goal of 36 billion
gallons of renewable fuel in 2022.
Your Administration has made commitments to the American people and the international community
to pursue ambitious goals over the coming years to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and combat
climate change. We urge you to stay the course and allow the commonsense, bipartisan Renewable Fuel
Standard to continue working as intended to create American green energy jobs and promote American