On June 24, 39 senators sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, urging EPA to ensure the final 2017 Renewable Fuel Standard rule “promote[s] growth in the U.S. biofuel sector and capture economic opportunity rather than drive investment overseas.” The 2017 proposal calls on refiners to blend 14.8 billion gallons of conventional biofuels in 2017, slightly below the 15-billion-gallon level envisioned by Congress when it expanded the RFS in 2007.
RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen released the following statement: “We thank the lawmakers for their leadership to ensure EPA finalizes a strong RFS that gets the program back on track. In proposing a lower conventional biofuel target for 2017, the EPA is catering to the oil industry by relying upon an illegal interpretation of its waiver authority and concern over a blend wall that the oil industry itself is creating. The RFA has demonstrated just how easy it would be for obligated parties to reach the 15 billion gallon statutory volume for conventional biofuels next year–through rising gasoline demand, increased E15 and E85 and 2 billion surplus renewable identification numbers available to refiners.
“Meantime, continued uncertainty has caused investments in new technology and advanced biofuel to languish or move overseas. It’s time EPA follows the statutory requirement and increase the conventional biofuel target to 15 billion gallons.”