Feinstein, Toomey call on committee to take up anti-ethanol bill

By Erin Voegele | February 24, 2022

Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., on Feb. 24 sent a letter to leaders of the Senate Committee on Environmental and Public Works urging the committee to consider legislation introduced last summer that aims to make corn ethanol ineligible for meeting Renewable Fuel Standard renewable volume obligations (ROVs).

The two senators partnered with Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Bob Menendez, D-N.J., to introduce The Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act, or S. 2385, on July 20, 2021. The legislation aims to make corn ethanol ineligible to meet the requirements of the RFS by eliminating the RVO for conventional biofuel. The bill, however, would maintain statutory RFS targets for advanced biofuel, cellulosic biofuel and biomass-based diesel.

The bill was referred to the EPW committee following its introduction. To date, no other action has been taken with regard to the legislation.

In their letter, Feinstein and Toomey cite a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that claims ethanol is more carbon-intensive than gasoline. Representatives of the biofuels industry have spoken out to slam that study, claiming that it includes several misrepresentations of the environmental outcomes of the RFS. 

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