The first panel of the 2014 National Ethanol Conference dealt with the impact of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) on the ethanol industry – today and tomorrow. Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) Senior Vice President for Research and Analysis Geoff Cooper moderated the panel which featured remarks from Bruce Babcock, Cargill Chair of Energy Economics at Iowa State University and Steffen Mueller, Principal Economist with the University of Illinois at Chicago and Genscape, Inc.
Babcock shared some of his research on the feasibility of meeting expanded ethanol targets and the impact that could have on fuel prices. He summarized some of the results of a recent analysis from the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University that shows the RFS reduces gas prices.
Listen to Babcock’s remarks here: Comments by Bruce Babcock, Iowa State University
Mueller talked about his research into how biofuels have helped to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “The RFS2 works as intended,” he said. “It reduces greenhouse gas emissions relative to petroleum. The biofuels industry has a very high rate of technology adoption – much higher than in other sectors – and that reduces the greenhouse gas balance. The RFS2 encourages the adoption of that technology and will so in the future.”
He specifically noted that “tight oils” or fracking have higher greenhouse gas emissions or carbon intensity values compared to traditional petroleum.
Listen to Mueller’s comments here: Comments by Steffen Mueller, University of Illinois-Chicago
Hear the entire panel discussion here: NEC RFS Impact Panel