Renewable Fuel Standard delay ‘a mixed blessing,’ Bustos says

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos
U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos

Online Staff Report

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Illinois, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, released the following statement Nov. 21 on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement that they will delay issuing a new Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) rule in 2014:

Today’s announcement from the EPA that they will delay issuing a new Renewable Fuel Standard rule this year is a mixed blessing. While those who support their families through our region’s biofuels industry deserve certainty, it is my hope that this delay will allow the EPA to change course from their devastating initial proposal. The proposed rule not only has the potential to hurt Illinois farmers, rural communities and our state’s economy, but needlessly boost gas prices and increase our dependence on foreign oil. I will continue to fight for the health of our region’s economy and our nation’s energy security by standing with both Democrats and Republicans in support of biofuels in the coming weeks and months.”

Bustos has been a strong supporter of Illinois biofuels, toured ethanol facilities in the region and recognizes the important role the industry plays in rural economies. In January, Bustos led a bipartisan group of 30 members of Congress in sending a letter to the EPA expressing concern with the proposed RFS Rule and met with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to personally share her concerns and the concerns of her constituents. Bustos also met with senior officials at the White House to discuss the importance of the RFS in April and protested the EPA proposal on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) President Richard Guebert Jr. issued the following statement on the EPA’s delay in finalizing the 2014 volumes for the RFS program:

If nothing else, EPA’s decision to further delay its release of the 2014 RFS volumes reflects the strong opposition of Illinois Farm Bureau members critical of a flawed proposal that would have reduced the amount of renewable fuels blended in the nation’s motor fuel supply for the first time since the RFS was enacted.

While this is not the outcome we wanted, IFB acknowledges that the administration took our members’ concerns into account and recognized the need to go back to the drawing board,” Guebert added. “In the coming year, IFB will continue to advocate for a strong RFS that increases volumes, advances the industry and takes into account the incredible economic, energy security and environmental benefits that biofuels provide.

IFB appreciates the efforts this year of several members of our congressional delegation — strong biofuels supporters — who circulated and signed letters, initiated meetings, and raised objections to the EPA’s misguided rule,” Guebert said.

Posted Nov. 21, 2014

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