U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin today were among a bipartisan group of 31 Senators who sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy. The letter is part of an ongoing effort to urge the agency to make changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) 2014 rule. The Senators share concerns that the EPA’s proposed rule will discourage investment and hurt job growth and rural communities across the country.
“The EPA is proposing a major step that reverses the momentum on biofuels,” said Grassley. “The progress made toward energy diversity and independence will slip away if the EPA succeeds. The sentiment from almost one-third of the U.S. Senate is the proposal needs revision. We want the EPA to reconsider. The President as a supporter of biofuels should weigh in as needed.”
“The intent of the RFS is to steadily increase contributions from biofuels in our transportation fuels markets to enhance our nation’s energy security, protect the environment, and create jobs,” said Harkin. “The proposed rule, requiring less biofuel in 2014 than in 2013, goes against this intent and is a significant step backward.”
The EPA’s proposed rule would set the biodiesel target at 1.28 billion gallons, which is below current industry production levels of around 1.7 billion gallons. It would also reduce the total biofuels target to 15.2 billion gallons. This is 1.34 billion gallons below the 2013 target of 16.55 billion gallons, and almost 3 billion gallons below the 2014 statutory target of 18.15 billion gallons.