Thune, Durbin Lead Bipartisan Request for Historic RFS "Set" Rulemaking

  • Thursday, 20 October 2022 09:58

Sen. John Thune

Oct 19, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, today led a bipartisan group of their colleagues in urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish renewable volume obligations that are additive for all fuel types in the upcoming “set” rule under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The senators also highlighted additional actions EPA should take in order to maximize the use and benefit of biofuels, including updating lifecycle analysis for biofuel emissions and approving additional fuel registrations and pathways under the RFS.

“Through this rulemaking, EPA has a historic opportunity to not only reinforce its efforts to restore integrity to the RFS, but chart a new course for biofuels that will help meet America’s diverse energy demands while further decarbonizing numerous sectors of our economy,” the senators wrote. “In order to guard against sidelining decades of investment and the diverse workforce that supports biofuels, we request that EPA set the conventional target above 15 billion gallons, set advanced biofuel volumes that account for increased production capacity of fuels like sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel, and ensure that renewable identification numbers (RINs) for emerging technologies and e-RINs are additive to existing volumes.”  

“With the forthcoming ‘set’ rule, EPA has a golden opportunity to stimulate further growth in low-carbon fuel use and build on the successes of the Renewable Fuel Standard,” said Geoff Cooper, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association. “We appreciate the efforts of Senator Thune, Senator Durbin, and other stalwart renewable fuel supporters to ensure EPA issues a ‘set’ rule that furthers the environmental and economic objectives of the original RFS program.”

“A stronger RFS means more savings at the pump for working families, lower carbon emissions, and greater U.S. energy security,” said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. “We’re grateful to Senators Durbin, Thune, and other clean energy champions working to deliver the regulatory certainty we need to fast-track growth in the U.S. bioeconomy and shield motorists from volatile global oil prices. This is a vital opportunity to drive transformative progress in low-carbon transportation, and we look forward to working with EPA Administrator Regan, the White House, and leaders on Capitol Hill to tap the full potential of the RFS as a climate and energy solution.” 

“As we near EPA’s announcement on the proposed Set rule, ACE applauds Senators Thune and Durbin for their leadership on a timely, bipartisan letter urging the Agency to utilize this historic opportunity to increase biofuel blending targets and take other important steps to leverage the role low carbon biofuels can and should play to address our nation’s energy demands and meet the Administration’s decarbonization goals,” said Brian Jennings, CEO of American Coalition for Ethanol. “New incentives enacted by Congress will boost investments in clean fuel technologies that support action by EPA to expand the use of clean fuels like ethanol through future RFS targets.”

“We thank Senators Thune, Durbin, and others for highlighting the bipartisan support for continued growth in the Renewable Fuel Standard volumes,” said Kurt Kovarik, vice president of Federal Affairs for Clean Fuels Alliance America. “We appreciate the Senators’ request that EPA build on the foundation of advanced biofuels and provide additional space for emerging volumes of renewable diesel, sustainable aviation fuel, and other potential new biomass-based fuels.”

“We applaud Senator Thune and Senator Durbin for leading a bipartisan coalition working to maximize the clean energy benefits of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS),” said Brooke Coleman, executive director of the Advanced Biofuels Business Council (ABBC). “We keep hearing about the importance of strong policy to ensure that new technologies are developed, clean energy targets are hit, and U.S. global competitiveness is enhanced as we seek to reduce emissions and grow the economy. There is no better example than the RFS. We appreciate the recognition that an ambitious, multiyear RFS rule could be a game-changer for advanced biofuels, Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), climate smart feedstock production, and transportation sector decarbonization.”

“Corn growers appreciate the Senators’ leadership and advocacy for renewable fuels with EPA,” said Tom Hagg, president of the National Corn Growers Association. “We also urge EPA to maximize the environmental and economic benefits of the RFS in the pending rulemaking, building on the success of biofuels to do more to cut emissions and lower fuel prices.”

This letter was also signed by U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), and Tina Smith (D-Minn.).

Full letter here.

Read the original press release here