Lawmakers Seek Compromise on RFS

Cindy Zimmerman

Some lawmakers during a House Energy subcommittee hearing on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) attempted to work toward getting some compromise between the two sides of the debate.

hearing-shimkusOne side, represented by the oil industry, wants to see the RFS completely repealed. The other side, represented by the biofuels industry, would prefer no change to the law. Congressman John Shimkus (R-IL) expressed his frustration with both sides digging in their heels on the issue. “We could have had this hearing in January and I would have gotten the same freaking answers out of you all,” said Shimkus. “We got your sides, we know what they are, that’s not really being constructive because we’ve got some issues we need to address.”

The congressman then asked the first panel, consisting of two oil industry representatives and two biofuels representatives and one scientist, if they would be willing to compromise somewhere between repeal and status quo on the RFS. As Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, started going into why he thought the law should be repealed, Shimkus cut him off. “We’re back to the same thing now,” he said. The rest of the panel agreed they would work with Congress, with certain caveats, leading Shimkus to conclude “If you keep these positions, no one’s going to be happy and nothing’s going to get done.”

Listen to the exchange here: RFS Hearing - Rep. Shimkus

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