Three U.S. Senators introduce bill to repeal RFS

By Chris Hanson | June 21, 2013

Senators John Barrasso, R-WY, Mark Pryor, D-AR, and Pat Toomey, R-PA, introduced the Renewable Fuel Standard Repeal Act which aims to eliminate the regulations and statutory authorizations of the standard.

“The RFS is fundamentally broken and beyond repair,” Sen. Barrasso said. He added the RFS has increased food and fuel costs and will increase the number of lawsuits against American manufacturers. “When Congress enacts bad policy, the right response is to scrap it and start over.”

Sen. Toomey echoed Barrasso by calling the mandate as “ill-advised” and “unsustainable” and led to increased corn prices which negatively affected livestock farmers and low-income families.

President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, Bob Dinneen, said, “Sen. Barrasso’s proposed legislation to repeal the RFS may serve the oil and gas interests in Wyoming, but it is bad for consumers, bad for the environment, and bad for America.” He credited the mandate for reducing foreign oil dependency, lowering gasoline prices and diversifying consumer options in fuel selection. “Repealing the RFS is not the answer because the problem lies with the lack of choice caused by the market domination by the petroleum monopoly.”

Brian Jennings, executive vice president of the American Coalition for Ethanol, said the repeal motion is “the worst kind of political pandering in Washington,” but is confident that the bill will not pass. He said during the ACE fly-in, which occurred in March 2013, there was no indication of a majority of support to repeal the RFS in the Senate. “They don’t have the votes to pass this bill.”

“The only interests who believe the RFS is broken,” Jennings explained, “are those interests whose profitable status quo was disrupted as the result of passing it.” He added that oil companies forgot the RFS was not enacted to make their lives “comfortable”, but designed to improve the way the U.S. produces and use transportation fuels. 

Currently, the bill will go to the Environment and Public Works Committee for discussion.