With indication that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may finally announce the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by June 1st, Iowa legislators are once again calling for forward momentum of the RFS. Iowa Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, Reps. Dave Loebsack, Steve King, David Young, and Rod Blum—Iowa’s entire federal delegation—urged the EPA to keep the RVO levels consistent with Congress’s intent when the RFS became law.
The RVO rules, which are one key element of the RFS, determine how much renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel will be blended into the U.S. fuel supply. Long-term and ongoing uncertainty surrounding the rule has frozen investment in the advanced biofuels industry of estimates close to $13.7 billion, and put numerous jobs at risk.
“Farmers and biofuels producers have done their part. The EPA needs to do its part,” said Grassley. “The levels ought to reflect the reality of what can be accomplished in an unbiased way. That’s what the law requires, and that’s what consumers who want fuel choices deserve.”
Loebsack said of the pending RFS announcement, “The blending volumes are long overdue and need to be strong to not only ensure stability in the renewable energy sector, but also for the high quality jobs the industry has created, enabling cheaper, cleaner choices for consumers. I encourage the EPA to not lose sight of the overall goal of this program, that is to take us into a new age of fuel and energy.”
“The RFS is the only tool that provides market access so that ethanol and other renewable fuels are sold in competition with petroleum,” added King. “The Consumer Choice Provision was enacted by Congress and sets the framework for RFS targets in law. The EPA, in another example of executive overreach, rolled back the RFS targets, presumably because of short grain supplies and high grain prices. We have since harvested the largest corn crop ever and seen prices cut in half. The EPA needs to follow the law and restore the RFS targets according to the directive of Congress.”