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Miller urges EPA to maintain renewable fuel standard (RFS)

This news story was published on January 28, 2014.
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Tom Miler, Iowa Attorney General

Tom Miler, Iowa Attorney General

DES MOINES – Attorney General Tom Miller today urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to decline to waive the national Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

“It’s clear that Congress intended to establish the RFS to foster increased production of renewable fuels, and waiving the standard would contravene the intent of Congress,” Miller said.

In a letter to the EPA, Miller wrote that the federal statute establishing the RFS, contained within the Clean Air Act, “is not ambiguous.” Miller noted that, according to the Clean Air Act, the EPA is authorized to waive the RFS only when implementation of the statutory standards would severely harm the economy or when there is an “inadequate domestic supply”—not distribution capacity—of renewable fuel, not blended fuel.

“The production of renewable fuels is a critical part of Iowa’s economy – providing a key market for agricultural crops and creating thousands of jobs,” Miller wrote. “If the EPA waived national fuel standards, not because of an inadequate supply of renewable fuel, but rather because of limited distribution capacity of blended fuels, it would be removing the incentives adopted by Congress to foster increased production of renewable fuels and greater energy independence.”

According to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Iowa leads renewable fuels production with 42 ethanol refineries capable of producing more than 3.8 billion gallons annually, with three cellulosic ethanol facilities currently under construction. Iowa also has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 315 million gallons annually.

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