Bipartisan Lawmakers Sign Letter on Biodiesel Renewable Fuel Standard RFS Volume
WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group of 32 U.S. senators from across the country sent a letter in mid-November asking the Obama Administration to support reasonable growth in the biodiesel industry next year under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
The senators, representing biodiesel production plants from Washington to Minnesota to Maine, specifically called on the Administration to establish a volume requirement of at least 1.7 billion gallons, consistent with this year’s projected production. The letter, which can be found below, was led by Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA), Al Franken (D-MN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA). It warned that a weakened RFS could lead to plant closures and thousands of lost jobs while threatening future investment.
“Biodiesel has exceeded RFS targets in each year and is clearly poised to do so again in 2013,” the senators wrote. “Biodiesel is improving our energy security by reducing our dependence on imported petroleum diesel, diversifying fuel supplies and creating competition in the fuels market. Setting the 2014 biodiesel volume requirement at reduced levels could have severe impacts on the domestic biodiesel industry.”
Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs at the National Biodiesel Board, thanked the senators for their support.
“This strong showing of bipartisan support represents the very real impact that biodiesel is having in communities across the country,” Steckel said. “It is creating jobs, reducing emissions and diversifying our fuel supplies so that consumers and our economy are not so vulnerable to volatile global oil markets.”
“Biodiesel is an RFS success story,” she said, “and we are urging the Administration to continue the momentum.”
In addition to the lead authors, the following senators also signed on to the letter: Senators Mark Pryor (D-AR), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Angus King (I-ME), Jack Reed (D-RI), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Jon Tester (D-MT), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Bob Casey (D-PA), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Tom Udall (D-NM), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Susan Collins (R-ME), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Mark Kirk (R-IL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Kay Hagan (D-NC).
For more information, visit biodiesel.org.