By Jacqui Fatka
In response to the recent proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency to retroactively reduce the minimum volume of blended biofuel levels mandated under the Renewable Fuel Standard, a bipartisan bill from a group of senators would prevent EPA from reducing 2020 or future finalized renewable volume obligations.
The Defend the Blend Act is sponsored by Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and cosponsored by Sens. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., and Joni Ernts, D-Iowa. Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, Rodney Davis, R-Ill., Angie Craig, D-Minn., and Ron Kind, D-Wisc. The legislation would prohibit EPA from reducing the Renewable Volume Obligations once the annual rule is finalized.
Klobuchar explains farmers and rural communities are counting on Congress to uphold the integrity of the RFS. “This legislation will stop retroactive changes to Renewable Volume Obligations so the renewable fuels industry has the certainty and stability it needs to create jobs, drive investment and cut carbon emissions from the existing vehicle fleet.”
“Time and time again, renewable fuels have shown to be key in cutting both greenhouse gas emissions and costs at the pump. Yet, past and present administrations have overlooked the value of the RFS, creating uncertainty for Iowa farmers and producers,” explains Grassley. “With EPA’s most recent proposed action of lowering RVO numbers from 2020’s final rule, who’s to say that won’t happen again? It is critical that we establish new safeguards that uphold the RFS and ensure all administrations remain committed to following the law.”