RFA disappointed Congress recessed without energy bill, renewable fuels standard

Coalition vows to continue pushing legislation
By | October 01, 2002
Even as Congress recessed until after the November elections, the coalition supporting the comprehensive fuels agreement vowed to continue pushing the legislation as part of a comprehensive energy bill. Congress passed a continuing resolution to fund government operations through Nov. 22. Prior to then, Congress must reconvene to pass either the necessary appropriations bills or another continuing resolution. At that time, Congress is likely to also work on other outstanding legislation, including the energy bill.

"While we are disappointed Congress failed to act now to address our country's many pressing energy needs, we will not give up the fight to secure ultimate passage of the carefully crafted fuels agreement," said Bob Dinneen, Renewable Fuels Association president. "The reasons to pass the fuels agreement preventing more MTBE water contamination, strengthening clean air regulations, providing refinery flexibility, enhancing U.S. energy security, and boosting rural economic development will not go away just because Congress has gone home without passing an energy bill. They will only intensify. We certainly believe Congress should, can and will move this legislation yet this year."

The fuels agreement sprang from a historic coalition of environmental and public health groups, state officials, oil refiners, farm organizations, and renewable fuel producers. The agreement calls for a federal ban on MTBE, elimination of the oxygenate requirement for reformulated gasoline, enhanced clean air protections, and establishing a renewable fuels standard (RFS). The RFS would require 2.3 billion gallons of renewable fuels, like ethanol and biodiesel, be used nationally in 2004, increasing gradually to 5 billion gallons in 2012.

"It's a shame Congress could not complete its work in a timely fashion," added Dinneen.