Senators Want High Blending Targets For RFS In 2017

Morning Consult

March 23, 2016

By Asha Glover

Nineteen senators, including Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), urged the Environmental Protection Agency to set higher blending targets under the Renewable Fuel Standard in 2017, in aWednesday letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

The RFS requires that renewable fuels, such as ethanol, be mixed into transportation fuels in an effort to reduce emissions. The EPA set the blending targets for the RFS for 2014, 2015, and 2016 last November, but set low targets because of worries that any higher percentage could cause issues in vehicles.

Last month, EPA Acting Assistant Administrator Janet McCabe told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee the EPA intended to issue the 2017 RFS on time, after passing the 2014 and 2015 RFS standards retroactively last year.

However, the lawmakers wrote that Congress rejected a lack of distribution infrastructure as a reason to grant a waiver when the standard was adopted in 2005.

“The EPA should reverse course and release a rule this year that follows congressional intent,” the lawmakers wrote.”The forthcoming proposal to set blending targets for 2017 is the EPA’s chance to fulfill the commitment that you and Assistant Administrator McCabe made to get the program back on track.”

“We need a strong RFS, and we need more biofuels. We expect that you get the program ‘back on track’, and we look forward to seeing a proposed rule released on time that removes the distribution waiver and re-establishes the United States as a leader in the biofuel sector.”

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