The renewable fuels standard included in the comprehensive energy bill passed in 2005 would require use of 8 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2012 - a standard the country is well on its way to meeting. However, several Senators signed a letter sent to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson this week urging that the RFS be "properly administered to ensure continued growth of the biofuels industry," according to a press statement from lead letter author Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.
Harkin notes that the RFS was crafted to spur continued growth of the renewable fuels industry and that Congress "intended the RFS to help wean our country off foreign oil, stimulate the rural economy and improve the environment."
The letter from Harkin, and RFS original sponsor Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., was also signed by Sens. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., Sam Brownback, R-Kan., Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Tim Johnson, D-S.D., Barack Obama, D-Ill, Ken Salazar, D-Colo., and John Thune, R-S.D.
Under the RFS provision refiners and blenders have the flexibility to meet their fuel usage requirements through a system that allows those exceeding their targets to trade credits with refiners that are behind the curve. There are provisions that allow EPA's administrator to waive requirements under unusual circumstances including lack of supply or severe economic hardship to a state. But those provisions are worded to avoid creating loopholes that would limit biofuels use. The letter reiterates the importance of the carefully reached compromise and urged that RFS implementation maintain growth in the biofuels industry.
You can check out a copy of the letter by clicking HERE.