U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Al Franken (D-MN), John Thune (R-SD), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and 26 of their Senate colleagues sent a bipartisan letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy yesterday urging the agency to firmly support the future of biofuels and revise its proposed waiver of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The Senators shared their concerns regarding the proposed rule’s potential impact on our nation’s energy security, the environment, and economic growth, particularly in rural communities.
“Congress passed the RFS to increase the amount of renewable fuel utilized in our nation’s fuel supply. The Administration’s proposal is a significant step backward – undermining the goal of increasing biofuels production as a domestic alternative to foreign oil consumption,” the Senators wrote. “Further, the proposed waiver places at risk both the environmental benefits from ongoing development of advanced biofuels and rural America’s economic future.”
In December, Durbin joined a bipartisan group of Senators in a meeting on Capitol Hill with McCarthy to protest the agency’s RFS proposal. Earlier in the month, Durbin also hosted a conference call with members of Illinois’ agriculture community and biofuels industry – including Illinois Corn Growers, Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Farm Bureau, National Corn to Ethanol Research Center, and Illinois biofuels producers – to discuss the potential impact of the RFS proposal.
In November, Durbin joined 31 members of the U.S. Senate in sending a letter to McCarthy, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell encouraging the agencies not to decrease the RFS. That letter can be accessed here. In late October, Durbin sent a similar letter to Burwell which can be accessed here.
The following Senators also signed on to today’s letter: Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Max Baucus (D-MT), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Dan Coats (R-IN), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), John Hoeven (R-ND), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Mark Udall (D-CO), Ed Markey (D-MA), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Patty Murray (D-WA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Schatz (D-HI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Read the full text of the letter.