Senators Introduce Legislation to Repeal Renewable Fuel Standard

Echoing legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year, U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) last week introduced “The Renewable Fuel Standard Repeal Act” (S. 1195), which would repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in its entirety. Sen. Barrasso said the RFS is "fundamentally broken and beyond repair," and that it has driven up food and fuel costs rather than deliver meaningful environmental benefits.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) praised the bipartisan legislation, saying the ever-increasing biofuels mandate would disrupt the nation's fuel supply. API also said the mandate could drive up the cost of diesel by 300 percent and the cost of gasoline by 30 percent by 2015, as well as lead to a $770 billion decrease in U.S. GDP and a $580 billion decrease in take-home pay for American workers.

The industry is hitting what is known as the ethanol blend wall, which refers to the point at which adding the EPA-mandated volume of ethanol to gasoline supplies would result in ethanol blends that exceed 10 percent. The required volumes of ethanol as set by the RFS must now be added to a smaller-than-expected pool of gasoline, and many experts predict the 10 percent blend wall may be reached as soon as this year.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) in May introduced the Renewable Fuel Standard Elimination Act (H.R. 1461), which seeks to repeal the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) renewable fuel program. Alternatively, the RFS Reform Act of 2013 (H.R. 1462) would amend the Clean Air Act to eliminate certain requirements under the renewable fuel program and prohibit EPA from approving gasoline that contains 10 percent ethanol.

 

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This article originally ran in NATSO News Weekly (NNW), NATSO's member only weekly electronic newsletter. NNW is packed with the latest updates on government and business issues affecting the truckstop and travel plaza industry.

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