Press

WASHINGTON, DC. – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Agriculture committee, this week joined 12 of her colleagues in urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish renewable volume obligations that are additive for all fuel types in the upcoming “set” rule under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

The bipartisan group of senators also highlighted additional actions EPA should take to fully leverage the power of biofuels, including updating lifecycle analysis for biofuel emissions and approving additional fuel registrations and pathways under the RFS. Taken together, these steps would help to restore the integrity of the RFS and ensure biofuels continue to play an important role in meeting America’s energy needs.

“Through this rulemaking, EPA has a historic opportunity to not only reinforce its efforts to restore integrity to the RFS, but chart a new course for biofuels that will help meet America’s diverse energy demands while further decarbonizing numerous sectors of our economy,” the senators wrote to EPA Administrator Michael Regan. “In order to guard against sidelining decades of investment and the diverse workforce that supports biofuels, we request that EPA set the conventional target above 15 billion gallons, set advanced biofuel volumes that account for increased production capacity of fuels like sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel, and ensure that renewable identification numbers (RINs) for emerging technologies and e-RINs are additive to existing volumes.”

“Corn growers appreciate Senators’ leadership and advocacy for renewable fuels with EPA,” said Tom Hagg, president of the National Corn Growers Association. “We also urge EPA to maximize the environmental and economic benefits of the RFS in the pending rulemaking, building on the success of biofuels to do more to cut emissions and lower fuel prices.”

U.S. Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) led the letter.

Additional cosigners include U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), 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.).

Text of the full letter is available HERE.

Background:

Senator Fischer has taken numerous actions to support biofuel producers, including:

  • Pushed the Biden administration to agree to allow the temporary sale of E15 year round.
  • Called out the Biden administration’s EPA for trying to let small oil refiners off the hook after failing to comply with the RFS.
  • Joined letter urging the Biden administration to stop delaying critical biofuels assistance.
  • Introduced the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act to ensure blends higher than E10 can be sold year-round.
  • Introduced the RFS Integrity Act to create transparency and predictability in EPA’s small refinery exemption process and require any exempted gallons to be accounted for in annual RVOs.
  • Joined letter to USDA urging them to use the Commodity Credit Corporation/December 2020 COVID relief bill to provide assistance to the biofuels industry.
  • Led bipartisan letter to EPA urging them to reject requests to waive RFS requirements and support robust RVOs.
  • Joined letter to President Biden urging him to reject calls to undercut RFS by reducing blending requirements and uphold his campaign promises.
  • Joined letter requesting meeting with President Biden about the lack of prioritization of biofuels in the administration’s policies.
  • Joined letter to EPA urging them to increase the proposed biodiesel volumes in the Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) for 2023 and 2024 to provide certainty to farmers and producers.