By Timothy J. Rudnicki, Esq
A proposed rule to cut advanced biofuels. A proposed rule to give the automakers a free pass to backslide on mpg’s in the CAFE Standard when the high octane ethanol mid-level blend solution is staring them in the face. And now it’s been reported that there is a proposal to essentially offshore the RFS?
President Trump, have you forgotten about your commitment to rural communities and your supposed support for ethanol? If you give one iota for the wellbeing of rural communities and Americans generally as well as the rule of law, then tell your EPA Administrator to back off the RFS.
The latest attack on the RFS is the ultimate attempt to repudiate the RFS and congressional intent. If blenders were to be allowed to satisfy their obligations under the RFS through export, the RFS would be gutted. Republicans and Democrats agreed the purpose of the RFS is to address onshore energy issues in the United States. In other words, the RFS is about actual displacement of finite, carbon intensive petroleum with renewable biofuels.
In other words, the RFS is about energy issues right here in the United States.
It is about paving the way for E30 and making America even more energy independent. Offshoring the RFS might enrich a few on a short-term basis, but it undermines us as a nation and people. Please, Mr. President, show some respect for your own commitments, the RFS and the rule of law.
President George W. Bush, State of the Union Address 2006:
“Keeping America competitive requires affordable energy. And here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, [Emphasis Added] which is often imported from unstable parts of the world. The best way to break this addiction is through technology. . . .
“By applying the talent and technology of America, this country can dramatically improve our environment, move beyond a petroleum-based economy, and make our dependence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past.”
Rep. Betty McCollum of Minnesota in the House of Representatives, Dec 6, 2007 regarding the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA):
“Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of the Energy Independence and Security Act. With this legislation, the new Democratic Congress is leading America in a new direction on energy policy. This is the most significant energy bill in a generation. The House is taking a major step toward ending our dependence on foreign oil by increasing efficiency standards for cars and trucks for the first time in over 30 years. . . .”
Rep. Barbara Lee of California in the House of Representatives, Dec 6, 2007 on EISA:
“The passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act will help these grass-roots efforts expand and grow through Federal initiatives designed to put the United States on a path to energy sustainability. "
Sen. Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, Dec 6, 2007 on EISA:
“On balance, I believe the energy legislation we have before us deserves the support of my colleagues. It is not perfect in every respect. Legislation of this size and complexity obviously cannot be. However, it represents an opportunity to make significant steps forward in a number of key areas of energy policy. With the passage of this legislation, we can reduce our dependance on oil, we can increase our consumption of homegrown fuels, we can provide substantial savings to consumers, and we can create many new jobs. I think it is a real step forward, also, in curbing greenhouse gas emissions.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar on EPA’s attempts to reduce RVOs In 2014:
“I believe legislative policy works best when it is stable, predictable and provides businesses the ability to make long-term investments. We need to provide the certainty farmers and biofuel producers need to make plans and investments. That is why I will continue to fight to get a long-term Farm Bill done and why we must work together to fix the proposed rule and preserve the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Position Statement regarding the RFS (commenting on the EPA proposed rule in 2014 and having relevance today in 2017).”