Lawmakers ask EPA to protect, strengthen the RFS

By Erin Voegele | February 08, 2022

Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn., led several co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Biofuels Caucus in sending a letter to U.S. EPA Administrator Michael Regan on Feb. 7 urging the agency to protect and strengthen the Renewable Fuel Standard.

The letter emphases the importance of restoring and maintaining RFS integrity for family farmers and rural communities.

“The benefits of renewable biofuels are clear,” the representatives wrote. “They play a key role in reducing carbon emissions from the transportation sector, generate economic growth and markets for family farmers across rural America, and reduce the cost of fuel at the pump for hardworking Americans.”

The group asks EPA to finalize the 2022 RFS renewable volume obligations (RVOs) as proposed by the agency and expresses support for the EPA’s proposed restoration of 500 million gallons from the 2016 RVO, plans to update the agency’s small refinery exemption (SRE) policy, and proposed denial of 65 pending SRE petitions.

The letter also urges the EPA to abandon plans to retroactively reduce the already finalized 2020 RVOs and increase the 2021 RVO proposal to ensure the RVO for conventional biofuel is set at the statutory level of 15 billion gallons.

In addition to Craig, the letter is signed by Reps. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa; Mark Pocan, D-Wisc.; Cheri Bustos, D-Ill.; David Scott, D-Ga.; and Ron Kind, D-Wis.

The American Coalition for Ethanol thanked the lawmakers for urging the EPA to prioritize the RFS. “As EPA prepares to make several important decisions regarding the RFS this year, the backing and leadership of these House members is greatly appreciated,” said Brian Jennings, CEO of ACE. “EPA has steps at its disposal it can immediately take to get the RFS back on track and we appreciate the House members for underscoring these actions to the Agency, so the program’s potential can be fully realized. These members know growing demand and use for clean biofuel uplifts their constituencies in rural America and decarbonizes the transportation sector.”

The Renewable Fuels Association also applauded the letter. “We applaud these House members for standing with American farmers and renewable fuel producers,” said Geoff Cooper, president and CEO of the RFA. “They understand the impacts these EPA proposals could have on their districts and across America’s heartland at a time when we need to focus on rebuilding the economy and reducing carbon emissions. We appreciate their support and hope EPA will listen and respond.”

A full copy of the letter can be downloaded from Craig’s website.