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Broad National Energy Coalition Throws Support Behind Domestic Alternative Fuels Act of 2013

New House Bill Seeks to Modify the Renewable Fuel Standard

LOS ANGELES AND WASHINGTON, DC: May 15,  2013 – The Domestic Fuel Solutions Group (DFSG), a coalition of business, transportation, agricultural, food industry, dairy, livestock and state legislative interests seeking solutions to the problems plaguing US energy policies, is throwing its support behind the Domestic Alternative Fuels Act of 2013 (HR 1959), which was introduced in the House of Representatives today by Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) and Rep Jim Costa (D-CA) and sixteen congressmen from both political parties.  HR 1959 aims to amend section 211(o) of the Clean Air Act to allow the energy and fuel industries to use alternative feedstocks such as ethanol derived from natural gas to satisfy their obligations under the federal Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS).

Currently the RFS limits the feedstocks that are eligible to produce conventional ethanol to renewable sources like corn.  But increasing mandates for corn ethanol, coupled with the recent drought and other weather-related factors, have put enormous pressure on corn supplies and prices, severely impacting the fuel, agriculture, livestock, transportation and food service industries and creating hardship for consumers who depend on affordable corn and fuel prices.

With efforts to secure waivers to the RFS or repeal it altogether unable to gain traction in Washington, DC, Congress is now taking a more moderate approach in the hopes that reasonable modification of the RFS will see strong bipartisan support. “Modifying the RFS to add ethanol from sources like natural gas would not only benefit our producers, but as one of the largest natural gas-producing states in the country, it would also strengthen our state’s economy,” said Adam McClung, Executive Vice President of the Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association, a DFSG member.  “In addition, encouraging a strong alternative fuel market will also ease the burden of energy costs for Arkansas consumers.” 

“Many of our members are in agriculture,” said DFSG member Paulette L. Pyle, the Grass Roots Director for Oregonians for Food and Shelter, “and those members are suffering today under the high price of animal feed and other corn-based products.  We are supportive of steps that would help stabilize and lower animal feed products for our members and one way to do that is to look at reforming the conventional biofuels portion of the Renewable Fuel Standard.”  

Cosponsors joining in support for the bill include: Rep. Barton (R-TX), Rep. Cole (R-OK), Rep. Crawford (R-AR), Rep. Cuellar (D-TX), Rep. Fahrenthold (R-TX), Rep. Flores (R-TX), Rep. Green (D-TX), Rep. Griffin (R-AR), Rep. Hall (R-TX), Rep. Morino (R-PA), Randy Neugerbauer (R-TX), Rep. Poe (R-TX), Rep. Schrader (D-OR), Rep. Vela (D-TX), and Rep. Welch (D-VT).  

The DFSG, which has a broad base of members from across the industrial and political spectrum, believes the Domestic Alternative Fuels Act best exemplifies the “all of the above” approach to US energy policy.  “We’re not looking to take corn out of ethanol or replace the advanced biofuels program,” said Seth Jacobson, Executive Director of DFSG.  “We’re all for having a full diversity of sustainable, low cost and environmentally friendly resources available to make alternative fuel.  Allowing natural gas into the RFS is a reasonable solution that aligns perfectly with the ‘all of the above’ approach while reducing our dependence on foreign oil.  That’s why we’re supporting HR 1959.”

About the Domestic Fuel Solutions Group
The Domestic Fuel Solutions Group (DFSG) is a growing coalition of agricultural, transportation, community-based organizations, oil and gas and fuel industry stakeholders who share the common goal of reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil and advancing a broader range of alternative fuels that impart the greatest economic, environmental and public benefit.  The objectives of the DFSG are to identify pragmatic solutions to challenges facing the U.S. energy market, promote new strategies and technologies, and marshal the broad-based support necessary to strengthen domestic fuels policy.

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