A bipartisan group of 19 Senators are calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to set higher blending targets under the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2017, and to keep with congressional intent and to follow through on agency commitments to get the RFS back on track.
The Senators noted that the EPA’s most recent rule setting blending targets were lower than it should have been because the agency relied on concerns about distribution infrastructure, which Congress explicitly rejected in 2005 as a reason to lower blending targets.
In a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, the Senators said, “The EPA should reverse course and release a rule this year that follows congressional intent. The forthcoming proposal to set blending targets for 2017 is the EPA’s chance to fulfill the commitment” it made to get the program back on track.
The Senators reminded EPA that its most recent ruling setting blending targets failed to provide the necessary incentive to increase growth in the development of the biofuel sector, especially cellulosic ethanol. The EPA last year set the RFS blending levels at 18.11 billion gallons which is below the 22.25 billion gallons Congress set in the “Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.” Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) spearheaded the letter.