Senator Lankford: Renewable Fuel Standard Is Unrealistic and Harmful to Economy
WASHINGTON, DC – The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management, under the chairmanship of Senator James Lankford (R-OK), today held a hearing to examine the Environment Protection Agency’s (EPA) management of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and the rule-making process for the program. The hearing was entitled, Re-examining EPA’s Management of the Renewable Fuel Standard Program, and included the EPA Office of Air and Radiation Acting Assistant Administrator Janet McCabe as the lone witness.
“If people want to buy ethanol, they should have that option, but Americans should not be forced to buy ethanol,” said Lankford. “I think we can all agree with the RFS’ intended goals to try to help our nation’s energy security and preserve the environment, but it is clear this mandate does not work. The EPA has not met the statutory deadline for renewables mandated to be blended into our gasoline supply since 2009. In addition, this mandate has resulted in increased prices on agriculture, and studies note the program’s negative impact on our land and air, inducing increased ozone. Today’s dialogue left little doubt that the EPA’s management of the program and state of the RFS is not only unrealistic, but harmful to the economy.
“Consumers should be aware that in the current law, EPA has wide latitude to re-set all ethanol mandates in 2017 and even broader authority in 2022. It is essential that Congress act now to re-write the law to prevent EPA from unilaterally closing all ethanol usage mandates.”
Statutorily, the EPA is required to release the volumes of renewables mandated to be blended into our gasoline supply under the RFS by November 30 of the preceding year to allow those covered by the mandate to plan for the future. However, this deadline hasn’t been met since 2009, and the 2014 volumes haven’t been finalized yet.