Democratic Lawmakers Call on Biden Administration to Uphold RFS

The letter is signed by Sens. Amy Klobuchar, Debbie Stabenow, Tina Smith, Tammy Duckworth, Richard Durbin, Tammy Baldwin and Ron Wyden, along with Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi, Lauren Underwood, David Scott, Ron Kind, Mark Pocan, Angie Craig, Cindy Axne and Cheri Bustos.

The lawmakers said the RFS has not only boosted rural economies but has been the impetus for growing a broader biobased economy.

“When allowed to work as Congress intended, the RFS has delivered on these goals while serving as the economic engine behind a growing biobased manufacturing sector across rural America and a biofuel industry with a 100% U.S. supply chain and a higher union density than the national average,” the letter said.

“The proposals identified in media reports as options under consideration by the Environmental Protection Agency have one thing in common: they all unjustifiably waive Clean Air Act compliance requirements for a small group of refiners that the EPA has repeatedly determined are not negatively impacted by the RFS. If adopted, greenhouse gas emissions will increase, our reliance on oil will increase, consumers will pay more at the pump, and the U.S. economy will be harmed.

“Rather than exempting refiners of their obligations under the Clean Air Act, the administration should provide additional certainty and stability to the renewable fuels marketplace that will create jobs, drive investment, and cut carbon emissions from the existing vehicle fleet. We encourage your administration to swiftly issue a proposed rule for the 2021 and 2022 Renewable Volume Obligations with strong blending targets.”

In addition, the lawmakers asked EPA to remand 500 million gallons of biofuels to the RFS as a result of a 2017 court decision.

“As your administration continues to push for meaningful and rapid climate action, biofuels can and should play an important role in decarbonizing vehicle emissions,” the letter said.

“Recent studies demonstrate that using ethanol in place of gasoline reduces greenhouse gas emissions by almost

half while biodiesel cuts greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 74%. Exempting refiners of their obligations to blend biofuel would mean increased reliance on oil and more carbon emissions — a result this country cannot afford if we are to meet our new commitment under the Paris Agreement to reduce emissions by 50% to 52% by 2030.”

Ethanol interest groups Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association released statements on Wednesday thanking the lawmakers.

Read the letter here:…

Todd Neeley can be reached at

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