After more than a year of deliberation, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced it will not finalize 2014 volume standards under the renewable fuel standard (RFS) program before the end of the year. The Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) issued the following statement in response, which should be attributed to Elizabeth Farina, UNICA President.
“EPA is at least stepping back from proposed cuts to advanced biofuel targets and ensuring American drivers will continue to benefit from a steady supply of clean renewable fuels like sugarcane ethanol. In 2013, 15 percent of America’s advanced biofuels – 435 million gallons – came from Brazil, delivering at least a 50 percent reduction in emissions compared to gasoline. Slashing the 2014 renewable fuels standard target would have fundamentally threatened both America’s supply of low-carbon fuel and the Obama Administration’s emissions reduction goals.
The Brazilian sugarcane ethanol industry has collaboratively worked with the U.S. to lower emissions through the RFS for over seven years, and while we’re relieved this decision doesn’t roll back environmental gains made over that time, EPA has missed a golden opportunity to increase the volume of cleaner fuel flowing to American drivers.
We encourage EPA to publish the 2015 RFS targets as soon as possible so advanced biofuel producers have clarity on production targets before the season starts.”
UNICA is the largest organization representing sugar, ethanol, and bioelectricity producers in Brazil. For more information, visit www.sugarcane.org or join the conversation on Twitter at @CaneBiofuel.
Leticia Phillips is UNICA’s Representative for North America. Ms. Phillips is an expert on Brazil-US relations and leads the Brazilian sugarcane industry’s advocacy efforts before the main stakeholders in the region, including the US Congress, Federal agencies, State legislators and business and civil society.