|Dark green states have signed an RFS into law. Light green states have an RFS in the legislative process.|
Bucking opposition from a number of quarters (earlier post), Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco signed HB 685, Louisiana’s Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) into law. The bill will mandate a 2% target by sales volume for both ethanol and biodiesel once pre-conditions are met.
This makes Louisiana the sixth state with its own renewable fuels standard, and the first Southern state to mandate one. (Missouri may become the next state with an RFS, as the legislature has passed the Missouri RFS (HB 1270) and it now awaits the signature of that Missouri Governor Matt Blunt.)
The Louisiana RFS, however, will likely not take effect, according to the Governor, for some time.
In examining this bill, I looked at four key points. First, ethanol facilities will provide Louisiana farmers a new market for their crops, diversifying our economy and creating hundreds of permanent jobs. Second, consumers are expected to have affordable, quality choices at the pump or the implementation of the ethanol legislation will be delayed by the Department of Agriculture. Third, ethanol blends reduce the toxicity of fuels and are better for the environment. And finally, it will take at least 18 to 24 months before producers can make enough product to trigger the mandate in the legislation.—Governor Blanco
Furthermore, Bob Odom, the Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture & Forestry, has agreed to “delay implementation of the law if it means consumers will have to pay more to fill up their vehicles.”
That promise of a delay based on high prices is designed to counter the objections that the implementation of the RFS will drive up the price at the pump.