Senators advocate for a strong RFS

By Erin Voegele | April 14, 2023

A bipartisan group of 16 senators, led by Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, on April 11 sent a letter to U.S. EPA Administrator Andrew Regan urging the agency to strengthen the Renewable Fuel Standard by maintaining the blending requirements for 2023, denying all pending small refinery exemptions (SREs), eliminating proposed retroactive cuts to the renewable volume obligations (RVOs) and set RFS volumes at statutory levels.

The letter urges EPA to take several actions as it finalized the upcoming RFS “set” rule, which sets RVOs for 2023, 2024 and 2025. The senators are calling on the agency to increase the proposed volumes for advanced biofuels and biomass-based diesel fuels to accurately reflect market conditions. They also stress that any increase in advanced volumes must be accompanied by an equivalent increase in the total volumes. In addition, the senators said the final rule must adopt the implied conventional volumes in the proposal; the EPA must increase its projection for liquid cellulosic biofuel production and increase advanced biofuel volumes correctly; the agency should adopt Argonne National Laboratory’s GREET life-cycle assessment (LCA) modeling; and the agency should finalize its proposal to provide SREs in only extraordinary circumstances.

By taking these steps, the senators said that the EPA can set the RFS on a path that provides stability and growth for the U.S. biofuels sector and guarantee that the program continues to function as intended to reduce emissions, drive economic growth in rural communities, keep gas prices low, and bolster national security by promoting an essential homegrown energy source.

Growth Energy has welcomed the senators’ call for a stronger RFS. “A strong RFS, rooted in the best available science, remains the single most powerful tool this administration has for decarbonizing transportation while delivering savings at the pump,” said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. “We’re grateful to Senators Klobuchar, Grassley, and other rural champions for their ongoing efforts to ensure EPA unlocks the full potential of biofuels to reach our climate and energy security goals. The latest production cuts by Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members only reinforce how important it is to shield American drivers from continued global uncertainty. With an ambitious RFS, and unrestricted access to higher blends like E15, we can deliver greater security and savings for working families.” 

Clean Fuels Alliance America is applauding the senators for their support of the RFS. “The clean fuels industry thanks the bipartisan group of Senators for highlighting to EPA Administrator Regan that biofuels lower fuel prices and strengthen economies across rural America,” said Kurt Kovarik, vice president of federal affairs with Clean Fuels. “The biodiesel and renewable diesel industry is providing a crucial supply of fuel that is needed to keep consumer prices in check right now. The growth of the biodiesel and renewable diesel industry is also bolstering confidence among farmers and rural communities for their economic future.”

A full copy of the letter is available on Klobuchar’s website



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