Bipartisan Defend the Blend Bill Introduced

Cindy Zimmerman

Representative Ashley Hinson (R-IA), together with Reps. Rodney Davis (R-IL), Angie Craig (D-MN) and Ron Kind (D-WI), introduced bipartisan legislation in the U.S. House this week that would keep blend levels under the Renewable Fuel Standard from being reduced after they are finalized.

The “Defend the Blend” bill would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from reducing the minimum applicable volume of biofuels into transportation fuel once the Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) levels are finalized for any given year. This would prevent the EPA from retroactively reducing 2020 RVO levels, which is an action the administration has been rumored to be considering.

“Rumors abound that the EPA is going to retroactively reduce biofuel blending requirements for 2020—before they’ve even set levels for 2021 and 2022; this would be detrimental to Iowa’s biofuel industry. My bipartisan bill will hold the Administration accountable for maintaining the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard and give biofuel and ethanol producers the certainty they deserve,” said Rep. Hinson.

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper said they strongly support the bill. “The Renewable Fuel Standard was intended to provide long-term market certainty and predictability for our nation’s ethanol producers, farmers, fuel retailers, and other market participants. Retroactively slashing renewable volume obligations long after they have been set would throw the RFS program into turmoil and reward a small group of defiant oil refiners for their bad behavior.”

American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings said, “The way the program has been carried out over the past few years has created uncertainty for not only biofuel producers and farmers, but for fuel retailers and oil refiners. The RFS was a well-written piece of legislation, and this bill would help keep EPA from continuing to play politics when it comes to administering the program.”

Additional co-sponsors of the bill include Reps. Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Adrian Smith (R-NE), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Mike Bost (R-IL), Randy Feenstra (R-IA), Cindy Axne (D-IA), Jim Baird (R-IN), Michelle Fischbach (R-MN), Jake LaTurner (R-KS), and Darin LaHood (R-IL).

ACE, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA