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Grassley urges EPA to increase volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard

This news story was published on July 29, 2015.
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Iowa Senator Charles Grassley

Iowa Senator Charles Grassley

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa is urging the Environmental Protection Agency to revise and increase its proposed volume obligations for renewable biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for 2014, 2015, and 2016.

“The RFS has added value to agriculture markets and energized many rural economies across Iowa and the nation,” Grassley wrote to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.  “It has helped create hundreds of thousands of jobs while lowering prices for consumers at the pump while reducing emissions.  It has also increased our national security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil.

“Unfortunately, the EPA’s proposal will undermine these efforts.  While I recognize the proposal is a modest improvement over the previous proposed rule, without significant improvements, the proposal will lead to job losses and will increase our dependence on foreign oil.  It will harm the development of next generation and cellulosic fuels and weaken efforts to build out renewable fuels infrastructure.”

Grassley cited the success of the RFS in driving the development and use of alternative and advanced biofuels.  He wrote that as a result of this program, cellulosic biofuels are already being produced in Galva and Emmetsburg, Iowa, with construction under way at a third facility in Nevada, Iowa.  Grassley said the EPA is underestimating the available supply of renewable fuel and available infrastructure needed to meet statutory requirements.

“It’s clear, based on this proposal, that the EPA continues to fall for Big Oil’s argument that the infrastructure isn’t in place to handle the fuel volumes required by law,” Grassley wrote.  “This proposal rewards Big Oil’s obstruction.  The fact is, the supply of renewable fuel is adequate to meet the statutory volumetric requirements, and the EPA is therefore required to hold firm on those levels and see that the obligated parties make the necessary adjustments to distribute the fuel to consumers.  Importantly, if the program had been implemented by EPA on time and consistent with congressional intent, private investments in distribution infrastructure would have already been made.  Regardless, now is not the time to put oil producers in charge of implementing the Renewable Fuel Standard.”

Grassley submitted his letter as part of the formal comment process on the EPA’s proposed rule that closed Monday.   The EPA intends to finalize the rule by Nov. 30.  Grassley’s letter is available here.

In April, Grassley was a leader of a bipartisan group of senators in calling for a strong volume requirement for biofuels under the RFS.  The senators’ letter is available here.

Earlier this month, Grassley led a bipartisan group of 36 senators in urging the EPA to increase the proposed volumes it set for biodiesel production under the RFS.  That letter is available here.

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2 Responses to Grassley urges EPA to increase volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard

  1. LVS Reply Report comment

    July 30, 2015 at 9:44 am

    He has to take care of those rich farmers and to hell with everyone else.

  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 29, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    I urge that they eliminate the EPA and IRS, and crazy subsidies to farmers !!