Fuel Industry Groups Cheer Senators for Stand on RFS
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A group of U.S. senators has called upon the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to take a strong stand with final targets under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for 2018.
In a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, the lawmakers urged the agency to implement a strong final 2018 RFS rule that reflects congressional intent to promote future biofuels growth.
Industry groups spoke out in favor of the move, which was led by U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).
"We applaud the leadership of these lawmakers, led by biofuel champions Sens. Grassley and Klobuchar. EPA's 2018 RFS proposal, while maintaining the 15-billion gallon statutory requirement for conventional biofuels, would slash the cellulosic biofuel target by nearly one-quarter. If finalized, this would send the wrong signal to the investment community and ultimately harm consumers by limiting choice at the pump," said Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen.
According to Dineen, the EPA has issued an additional proposal with further cuts to the 2018 RFS volumes and there is concern that the agency is considering allowing U.S. biofuel export volumes to count toward compliance with the RFS.
"Allowing exported biofuels to count toward a domestic energy program runs afoul of the law, undermines market growth in E15 and higher blends, and would quite likely prompt other countries to impose trade restrictions that would only further erode demand for ethanol," he said.
"It is a complete betrayal of promises made to farmers and consumers across this country to protect the RFS. EPA must reconsider this anti-farmer, anti-consumer, and anti-innovation proposal," Dinneen added.
Growth Energy also applauded the senators.
"We commend our Senate champions for sending an unmistakable message to the EPA that the RFS plays a vital role in supporting America's rural communities, protecting consumers, and promoting U.S. energy security," said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor.
"The law is clear, and it has been working effectively for over 12 years to offer drivers more choices and deliver cleaner, more affordable options at the pump," she added.
According to Skor, recent actions by the EPA have raised concerns that the agency has lost sight of the goals set by Congress and endorsed by President Trump.
"These actions threaten to freeze investments across rural America, and our leaders in Washington must act quickly to ensure that homegrown ethanol and renewable fuels can continue to deliver the benefits promised by the RFS," Skor said.
To read the letter, click here.