Today, Republican Congresswoman Kristi Noem (SD-AL) and Democratic Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) led a bipartisan group of 30 Members of Congress in expressing concern over the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to reduce the renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). This is the first time the EPA has proposed a reduction in the amount of ethanol to be blended in our nation’s gasoline supply.
In a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, the Members of Congress said that reducing the amount of renewable fuels in gasoline could hurt rural economies, jeopardize American jobs, raise prices at the pump and deter investment in biofuels and biofuel infrastructure. They asked that the EPA revise their proposal before the 60 day comment period ends on January 28th.
"We are writing to express our concern regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule for the 2014 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program," the Congresswomen said in their letter. "The significant reduction in renewable volume obligations under this proposed rule could destabilize the renewable fuel industry and send the wrong message to investors. This risks jobs and threatens the development of advanced and cellulosic biofuels that bring higher-level ethanol and biodiesel blends to consumers."
Every November, the EPA is required to provide the RVOs that refineries use to blend biofuels into the market. While the EPA has the authority to reduce the RVOs, it never has before.