(Posted Thu. Feb 7th, 2013)

Feb. 7: In a panel presentation this week, National Corn Growers Association CEO Rick Tolman highlighted the importance of the Renewable Fuel Standard to help increase and guarantee a vibrant domestic renewable fuel market.

“We cannot underestimate the importance of the RFS,” Tolman said. “It cut imported oil and serves as the basis for investment in infrastructure growth. It’s the single biggest reason for the prosperity across all of agriculture since its inception. It also has lowered fuel costs for consumers and created hundreds of thousands of jobs across America.”

Tolman’s presentation, at the Renewable Fuel Association’s National Ethanol Conference, centered on five areas: the success of the RFS to-date, the importance of preserving the program, implementation challenges and opportunities, pathways to 36 billion gallons by 2022, and the future role of corn in the Renewable Fuel Standard.

NCGA is involved in several programs to protect the RFS and ethanol’s role in America’s fuel sector, such as the Fuels America coalition and the American Ethanol racing program with NASCAR, Tolman said. The organization recently joined the Urban Air Initiative to promotes the human health and environmental benefits of ethanol.

The rise in domestic oil production, Tolman said, need not mean a decrease in the relevance of biofuels like corn ethanol, but should spell an end to oil imports. “The United States leads the world in biofuel production,” he said. “It’s had a positive impact on our GDP at the same time it’s created jobs and helped clear the air.”