A bipartisan group of senators wants the administration to back down from proposed changes to the renewable-fuel standard, a mandate requiring target amounts of renewable fuels to be blended into the U.S. fuel supply each year.
The letter, sent to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on Thursday by Sens. Ben Cardin, D-Md, Susan Collins, R-Maine, Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and six other senators, takes issue with the agency’s draft proposal for the 2014 mandate and its suggested cutback to the advanced-biofuels portion of the mandate.
The proposal would provide for 2.2 billion gallons of advanced biofuels to be blended into gasoline — a cutback of 1.5 billion gallons compared with the target amount spelled out in the Energy Security and Independence Act of 2007.
The senators say that while they understand that EPA has jurisdiction to review and revise the standard, rolling back the mandate for advanced biofuels is unnecessary.
“Domestic producers are making real, on-the-ground progress in expanding production to achieve broader commercialization of advanced biofuels,” the senators write.
The letter goes on to warn that if EPA moves to lower the advanced-biofuels target, it could halt investment in the industry. It calls the agency’s proposal “the wrong approach.”
“If the final rule were to include the proposed level of 2.2 billion gallons for advanced biofuels … the 2014 RVO [renewable volume obligations] will nearly be halved, thus taking away any practical incentive for future investment in advanced biofuels.”
The letter comes just days after the agency ended the public comment period on the draft proposal, which was released in November.
What We're Following See More »
The National Defense Authorization Act passed the House this morning by a 375-34 vote. The bill, which heads to the Senate next week for final consideration, would fund the military to the tune of $618.7 billion, "about $3.2 billion more than the president requested for fiscal 2017. ... The White House has issued a veto threat on both the House and Senate-passed versions of the bill, but has not yet said if it will sign the compromise bill released by the conference committee this week."
Bill Schuette, Michigan's attorney general, has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the state to halt the recount of the state's voting results. The recount was elected by Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Schuette says the recount shouldn't occur because Stein cited no evidence of voter fraud or tabulation error.
"Republicans have elected Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) the next chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee. Walden defeated Reps. John Shimkus (R-IL) and Joe Barton (R-TX), the former committee chairman, in the race for the gavel" to succeed Michgan's Fred Upton.
The economy added 178,000 jobs in November, up from just 142,000 in October. Unemployment dropped to 4.6% from 4.9%, making it the lowest rate since before the Great Recession.
"Democratic and Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are working on legislation that would limit deportations" under President-elect Donald Trump. Leading the effort are Judiciary Committee members Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) is also expected to sign on.