Ethanol industry leaders defended the Renewable Fuels Standard at a hearing Tuesday before the House Energy Committee.

At issue is the recently released draft of the 21st Century Transportation Fuels Act, which aims to sunset the RFS. Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy, called the RFS an overwhelming success, despite years of mismanagement.

“Repealing the RFS is unnecessary and will further destabilize a struggling farm economy and ethanol sector. Moreover, the draft does nothing to stop the EPA’s continued misuse of the small refinery exemption authority,” Skor said.

Geoff Cooper, CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, said ending the RFS by 2022 would reduce ethanol demand. “We simply cannot support the RFS program as the draft envisions without a much stronger signal to the market that ethanol’s role in our fuel supply will continue to grow,” Cooper said.

Wesley Spurlock, former president of the National Corn Growers Association, said the RFS benefits farmers, consumers, and the environment – noting corn-based ethanol has 43% lower Greenhouse Gas emissions than gasoline.

Iowa is the nation’s top producer of ethanol.