Lawmakers Urge EPA to Withdraw Proposed RFS Cuts

Thirty members of Congress have asked  EPA to abandon its proposal to reduce the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS).  The lawmakers sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy urging her to abandon the proposal that would cut the RFS to below the levels legislated by Congress in 2007 under the Energy Independence and Security Act.

The letter claimed the proposal would hurt rural communities, push up fuel costs and worsen the nation's addiction to imported oil. "The significant reduction in renewable volume obligations under this proposed rule could destabilize the renewable fuel industry and send the wrong message to investors," they wrote.

The 30 House lawmakers, mostly from agriculture-heavy states including South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin, said the Obama administration should push forward with an ethanol policy consistent with the Renewable Fuel Standard put in place in 2005 and revised two years later by Congress. 

In December, Charles Grundler, head of EPA's Transportation and Air Quality Office, said that the "blend wall" has been reached and it's unrealistic to expect refiners and retailers to offer E-15 or other blends that the current petroleum infrastructure can't support and that many vehicles cannot use. During a Senate hearing, Grundler said EPA recognizes it’s not feasible for gasoline refiners to meet the 2014 ethanol mandate, which is why the agency released its proposal late last year to ease the requirement. 

Mindy Long's photo

Mindy Long

Before launching a full-time freelance career, Long edited NATSO's Stop Watch magazine. Prior to that Long worked as a staff reporter for Transport Topics, a weekly trade newspaper, covering freight transportation, fuel and environmental issues. In addition to covering the transportation sector, Long has written, reported and edited for a variety of media outlets. She was the Washington correspondent for WCAX-TV (CBS) in Burlington, Vt., a criminal court reporter in Chicago and a freelance copy editor for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine in Washington D.C. Long hold a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, Ill., and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Westminster College in Salt Lake City.More
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