Phone: 800-862-8529                                                          Fax: 509-545-0909
Weather |  Market News |  Headline News |  DTN Ag Headlines | |  Crops |  Futures |  Portfolio |  Futures Markets |  Quotes 
  Producer Account Login  
  About Us  
  PNW Charts  
  Daily Commentary  
  Real Time Quotes  
  Contact Us  
  Tri Cities Grain Photo Gallery  
  Administrative Login  
- DTN Headline News
Senators Back RFS' Original Intent
Thursday, April 23, 2015 5:10PM CDT

By Todd Neeley
DTN Staff Reporter

OMAHA (DTN) -- The biofuels industry received a boost from a bipartisan group of United States senators who on Thursday leaned on EPA to finalize a Renewable Fuels Standard that sparks continued growth in the industry.

In a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, a group of 37 senators, including Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa; Pat Roberts, R-Kansas; John Thune, R-South Dakota.; Barbara Boxer, D-California; Richard Durbin, D-Illinois; and Edward Markey, D-Massachusetts, to name a few, asked the agency to approve an RFS that matches the purpose of the 2005 law.

"As you work toward finalizing the proposed rule on biofuels volume requirements for 2014 and subsequent years under the Renewable Fuel Standard, we urge you to take this opportunity to reverse course from the 2014 proposed rule and craft targets for domestic biofuels that reflect Congress' intended goals for the RFS," the letter said.

"The RFS has already proven to be an effective driver of alternative fuels and economic development. It has strengthened agriculture markets and created hundreds of thousands of jobs in the new energy economy, many of which are in rural areas. Setting strong biofuels volume requirements for 2014 and beyond will ensure this progress continues."

EPA announced on April 10 that it would put the RFS back on track by setting three years' worth of volumes this year, following a consent decree reached with oil industry groups that had filed a lawsuit.

Through the settlement, EPA would issue final annual volume standards for 2014 and 2015 by the end of this year. The agency also would finalize the standards for 2016 this year, although it is not required by the decree.

EPA said it would re-propose volume requirements for 2014 that reflect the volumes of renewable fuel actually used in 2014. The ethanol industry has raised concerns that releasing 2014 volumes this year would mean nothing to the industry, since 2014 biofuels volumes already have been produced.

By June 1, the agency would propose volume requirements for 2015. By Nov. 30, EPA would finalize volume requirements for 2014 and 2015 and resolve a pending waiver petition for 2014.

Growth Energy Chief Executive Officer Tom Buis said in a news release statement the letter to EPA represents broad bipartisan support for the industry.

"This letter is a clear message to the Environmental Protection Agency -- that we must have a strong, a robust Renewable Fuel Standard to help move our nation forwards in terms of alternative energy development," Buis said. "In no uncertain terms, this strong bipartisan coalition of senators have indicated that they are closely watching the EPA as they seek to finalize this rule and that any changes which would undercut the congressional intent or role of the RFS will be met with intense scrutiny and strong objection."

Bob Dinneen, president and chief executive officer of the Renewable Fuels Association, said bipartisan support for the RFS is important.

"It is encouraging to see such broad, bipartisan, and geographically diverse support for the Renewable Fuel Standard," he said in a statement to DTN. "As these senators note, the RFS is working to reduce our dependence on imported oil, lower the consumer price of gasoline, address greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles, and drive innovation and investment in the next generation of biofuels. It's leadership like this that will move America's energy future forward. Farmers, entrepreneurs and innovators across the country will applaud these 37 visionaries."

Though next-generation cellulosic ethanol companies have launched commercial production recently, the industry has expressed concern that many of those companies already are considering building second plants outside the United States. That's because EPA delays in issuing RFS volumes has created market uncertainty for those companies.

In the letter, the senators said the RFS originally was designed to spark innovation toward more carbon-friendly fuels.

In addition, the senators questioned EPA's authority to issue an RFS waiver based on infrastructure concerns raised by the oil industry.

"When Congress passed the RFS and it was enacted into law," the senators stated in the letter, "the intent was a forward-looking policy that drives future investments in both biofuels production and the infrastructure necessary to bring these biofuels to market. With its harmful 2014 proposed rule, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency limited biofuels volume requirements based on available existing infrastructure, a condition that falls outside of the EPA's clearly defined waiver authority provided by Congress in the RFS.

"The biofuels volume requirements for 2014 and beyond have serious implications for our economy and energy security. We encourage you to ensure a final proposal continues to work toward achieving the RFS' long-term economic and renewable energy goals."

Todd Neeley can be reached at

Follow him on Twitter @toddneeleyDTN


blog iconDTN Blogs & Forums
DTN Market Matters Blog
Katie Micik
Markets Editor
Monday, April 20, 2015 4:38PM CDT
Monday, April 13, 2015 3:57PM CDT
Friday, April 10, 2015 9:03PM CDT
Technically Speaking
Darin Newsom
DTN Senior Analyst
Monday, April 20, 2015 1:23PM CDT
Saturday, April 18, 2015 6:19PM CDT
Saturday, April 18, 2015 5:39PM CDT
Fundamentally Speaking
Joel Karlin
DTN Contributing Analyst
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 2:39PM CDT
Friday, April 17, 2015 12:50PM CDT
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 2:57PM CDT
DTN Ag Policy Blog
Chris Clayton
DTN Ag Policy Editor
Friday, April 24, 2015 9:24PM CDT
Thursday, April 23, 2015 1:08PM CDT
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 2:09AM CDT
Minding Ag's Business
Marcia Taylor
DTN Executive Editor
Thursday, April 23, 2015 4:06PM CDT
Monday, April 20, 2015 5:11PM CDT
Tuesday, March 31, 2015 8:31PM CDT
DTN Ag Weather Forum
Bryce Anderson
DTN Ag Meteorologist and DTN Analyst
Friday, April 24, 2015 7:46PM CDT
Thursday, April 23, 2015 3:48PM CDT
Monday, April 20, 2015 4:00PM CDT
Friday, April 24, 2015 9:44PM CDT
Friday, April 24, 2015 5:06PM CDT
Thursday, April 23, 2015 5:55PM CDT
DTN Production Blog
Pam Smith
Crops Technology Editor
Friday, April 24, 2015 9:30PM CDT
Thursday, April 16, 2015 7:38PM CDT
Friday, April 10, 2015 11:35PM CDT
Harrington's Sort & Cull
John Harrington
DTN Livestock Analyst
Friday, April 10, 2015 8:46PM CDT
Thursday, April 2, 2015 9:09PM CDT
Monday, March 23, 2015 9:25PM CDT
South America Calling
Alastair Stewart
South America Correspondent
Thursday, April 16, 2015 8:19PM CDT
Thursday, April 9, 2015 9:52PM CDT
Tuesday, April 7, 2015 3:38PM CDT
An Urban’s Rural View
Urban Lehner
Editor Emeritus
Monday, April 20, 2015 11:08AM CDT
Monday, April 13, 2015 11:02AM CDT
Monday, April 6, 2015 10:29PM CDT
Machinery Chatter
Jim Patrico
Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
Thursday, April 23, 2015 3:56PM CDT
Friday, April 17, 2015 2:45PM CDT
Wednesday, April 8, 2015 8:51PM CDT
Canadian Markets
Cliff Jamieson
Canadian Grains Analyst
Friday, April 24, 2015 10:14PM CDT
Thursday, April 23, 2015 5:46PM CDT
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 5:10PM CDT
Editor’s Notebook
Greg D. Horstmeier
DTN Editor-in-Chief
Wednesday, April 8, 2015 7:50PM CDT
Tuesday, March 31, 2015 6:59PM CDT
Friday, March 27, 2015 2:34PM CDT
Copyright DTN. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.
Powered By DTN