A flurry of positive action in support of renewable fuels took place in the U.S. Senate this week.
On Wednesday, Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, led a letter signed by 13 other farm-state Senators to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to highlight the “pressing concern of restoring integrity to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and to alert you to pressing policy decisions that the Administration must make to bring regulatory certainty to the transportation fuels sector of the economy.”
Also, Wednesday, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., along with Klobuchar, reintroduced the Adopt GREET Act, legislation that would require the EPA to update its greenhouse gas modeling for ethanol and biodiesel.
“This bill will ensure EPA uses the most recent science and data to accurately measure the greenhouse gas emission reduction benefits of ethanol,” said NCGA President John Linder, president of the National Corn Growers Association. “The Department of Energy’s GREET model clearly shows ethanol is a key carbon reduction solution, resulting in significantly fewer greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline. Corn farmers thank Senator Thune and Senator Klobuchar for their leadership and look forward to working together to enact this legislation and take steps to advance greater use of low-carbon ethanol.”
Earlier in the week, during his Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee confirmation hearing, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack expressed his support for expanding the use of higher blends of biofuels.
"General Motors, Ford — they're not going to stop producing cars with internal combustion engines, so we need an alternative fuel source to complement electric. Over a long period of time, we're going to need both. We're going to promote biofuels octane capacity. One way to do that is to promote higher-blend biofuels used in higher-efficiency new engines,” Vilsack told the Committee.
In his confirmation hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, EPA nominee Michael Regan pledged his support for ethanol and agriculture. “You have my commitment that we will take a look at the RFS program and we will introduce some transparency into that program,” Regan told the Committee.
NCGA appreciates the continued advocacy and support for renewable fuels from members of the U.S. Senate and looks forward to a productive relationship with both Vilsack and Regan upon their Senate confirmation.