~~Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) joined a bipartisan group of 16 senators to meet with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy to urge changes to the proposed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) 2014 rule. The EPA’s proposed rule would hurt the biofuels industry by lowering the biodiesel target below current industry production levels and reduce the total biofuels target by over a billion gallons, discouraging investment and hurting jobs and rural communities across the country.
In addition to Senator Harkin, other attendees included Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), John Thune (R-SD), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Al Franken (D-MN), Dan Coats (R-IN), John Hoeven (R-ND), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND). The meeting was organized by Senators Klobuchar and Thune.
“The intent of the RFS is to steadily increase contributions from biofuels in our transportation fuels markets to enhance our nation’s energy security, protect the environment, and create jobs,” said Harkin. “Unfortunately the volume projections released by the EPA for the coming year would reverse these efforts, ignoring the clear intent of the law as well as our nation's capacity both to produce and utilize renewable fuels.”
The EPA’s proposed rule would set the biodiesel target at 1.28 billion gallons, which is below current industry production levels of around 1.7 billion gallons. It would also reduce the total biofuels target to 15.2 billion gallons. This is 1.34 billion gallons below the 2013 target of 16.55 billion gallons, and almost 3 billion gallons below the 2014 statutory target of 18.15 billion gallons.