WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Joni Ernst released the following statement today, after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced proposed volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for conventional biofuels in 2017 and biomass-based diesel in 2018:
“I am once again disappointed with the EPA’s decision to reduce volume requirements for conventional biofuels, despite having clear direction from Congress. Unfortunately, this was not a surprise, as this agency under the Obama administration has repeatedly ignored congressional intent when administering the RFS.
“The RFS is about encouraging investment and research in renewable fuels, providing consumers with choices at the pump, and reducing our dependence on foreign oil. Yet these volume levels will only discourage investment in next generation biofuels, and hurt an already struggling agricultural economy in Iowa and across the nation.
“I was encouraged to see the levels for biomass-based diesel set as high as they were, but by reducing the congressionally mandated levels for conventional biofuels, the EPA has sent a clear message that they are willing to break the promises made by Congress to farmers and renewable energy producers years ago.
“I remain committed to promoting investment and innovation in this sector, and protecting our domestic energy security while supporting our hardworking farm families throughout Iowa.”
In January, Senator Ernst joined the Iowa delegation in a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy encouraging the agency to follow congressional intent and set volumes for conventional biofuels at 15 billion gallons as well as an “aggressive” biomass-based diesel level for 2018.