Today, a bipartisan group of senators led by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advocating for robust and expanded blending targets under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to build upon the positive contributions and emission reductions of conventional biofuels, particularly given the recent incentives and investments that are poised to increase biofuel blending and further reduce the carbon intensity (CI) of these fuels.
American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings issued the following statement thanking the Senators:
“As we near EPA’s announcement on the proposed Set rule, ACE applauds these senators for their timely, bipartisan letter urging the Agency to utilize this historic opportunity to increase biofuel blending targets and take other important steps to leverage the role low carbon biofuels can and should play to address our nation’s energy demands and meet the Administration’s decarbonization goals.
“New incentives enacted by Congress will boost investments in clean fuel technologies that support action by EPA to expand the use of clean fuels like ethanol through future RFS targets. EPA has the power to dramatically bolster the trajectory of biofuels by taking the senators’ recommendations, which will provide the regulatory certainty needed to chart a new path forward to grow demand for biofuels.”
The letter requests EPA take supportive actions to provide regulatory certainty for the program, including adhering to restraints the Tenth Circuit Court established by not allowing future-year blending targets to be eroded by small refinery exemptions (SREs) and formally adopting the GREET Model in the Set rule.
The senators caution that new fuels like Sustainable Aviation Fuel and other new pathways for RFS compliance, such as e-RINs, must not sideline existing biofuels and request EPA set the conventional target above 15 billion gallons.
In addition to recently extended and expanded incentive structures and programs, the senators’ letter details how EPA can justify ambitious blending targets by approving long-pending RFS fuel registration applications and pathway petitions, which will enable biofuel operations to generate more fuel per bushel of feedstock while further reducing the CI of each gallon.
Record investments in biofuel blending infrastructure at USDA will also facilitate rising blending targets. The letter cites how E15 year-round paired with this USDA funding “would help ensure biofuels are able to maximally contribute to America’s energy and climate needs from field to tailpipe.”
A copy of the letter can be accessed here.
The bipartisan letter, led by Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), was also signed by U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), and Tina Smith (D-Minn.).