The EPA today issued a proposed rule to lower the biofuel targets for 2014, discouraging investment in the biofuel industry, hurting jobs and rural communities across the state
This would be the first time the Renewable Fuel Standard would be set lower targets than are currently being blended by refiners
Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar, Al Franken and Representatives Tim Walz and Collin Peterson today issued the following statements on the proposed rule to amend the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today issued a proposed rule that would hurt the biofuels industry by lowering the biodiesel target below current industry production levels and reduce the conventional ethanol target over a billion gallons. This would be the first time the Renewable Fuel Standard would set lower targets than are currently being blended by refiners.
“At a time when the oil industry continues to receive billions of dollars in unnecessary subsidies, this decision is wrong and I will urge the Administration to reconsider the proposed rule,” said Klobuchar. “This would undercut the biofuels industry that is not only vital to our state’s economy but also helps reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”
“Minnesota leads the country in homegrown jobs from renewable energy, and we need to continue on that path for the sake of our economy and our future,” said Sen. Franken. “That’s why I've been urging the Administration against slashing the RFS. This is not the time to send a signal that we’re cutting back on biofuels. I will continue pushing to ensure a robust RFS and help keep this important industry growing.”
“The RFS is vital to rural America’s economic strength. Today’s proposal is very disappointing. A strong ethanol industry is necessary to advance the next generation of renewable fuels and reduce our dependence on foreign energy. It’s important to remember that this is still a proposed rule. As the process moves forward I urge the EPA not to bow to the pressure from big oil and gas companies intent on repealing the RFS,” House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin C. Peterson.
“Ethanol and renewable energy production have been one of the bright spots in our economy here in southern Minnesota over the last decade,” Walz said. “The proposed rule, if implemented, would weaken an emerging industry, hurt economic growth, and increase our reliance on foreign oil. The RFS is working, and the EPA needs to allow it to keep working.”
The EPA’s proposed rule would set the biodiesel target at 1.28 billion gallons, which is below current industry production levels of around1.7 billion gallons. It would also reduce the conventional ethanol target to 13 billion gallons. This is 800 million gallons below the 2013 target of 13.8 billion gallons, and 1.4 billion gallons below the 2014 statutory target of 14.4 billion gallons.