Talent and Santorum: Protect EPA biofuel targets from abusive waivers | TheFencePost.com

Talent and Santorum: Protect EPA biofuel targets from abusive waivers

-Americans for Energy Security and Innovation

WASHINGTON, – In a joint statement, Americans for Energy Security and Innovation Co-Chairs Jim Talent and Rick Santorum urged the Environmental Protection Agency to boost today's proposed 2019 biofuel targets and put a stop to abusive waivers that have enriched well-connected refiners at the expense of rural workers and farmers. Under the Renewable Fuel Standard, the proposed biofuel targets — or Renewable Volume Obligations — are now subject to a public comment period and will be finalized in late November.

"The targets announced today could promote modest growth in U.S. biofuel production, but not if they are subject to another endless string of EPA waivers. Rural workers and farmers cannot afford another year of demand destruction. The White House must ensure that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt follows the president's directives by protecting the integrity of conventional biofuel targets, unleashing E15, and accelerating investments in advanced biofuels, like cellulosic ethanol made from corn cobs and stalks.

"These fuels are driving critical new revenue streams for rural communities, and upholding strong biofuel targets will help put President Trump's vision for rural prosperity back on track.

"The RFS remains the single most successful energy policy working to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil, while delivering real economic and environmental benefits. It creates competition at the pump that is not vulnerable to manipulation by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, and it has made America the world leader in biofuel production. Hundreds of thousands of rural jobs, from manufacturing to farming, depend on the RFS, and we should be embracing opportunities to accelerate that growth in communities hit hardest by the ongoing farm crisis and rising trade barriers. Rural voters are counting on this administration to stand strong against attacks by a few well-connected refinery owners, and GOP leaders cannot afford to let them down.

"Right now, it is vital that Administrator Pruitt stop delaying action on the president's pledge to lift outdated, seasonal regulations on E15 during the summer. Taking this action will help to expand growth opportunities for U.S. farmers, hold down surging prices at the fuel pump, and even reduce the cost of biofuel credits for refiners that refuse to blend biofuels. Competition at the pump is good for consumers and good for our energy security. There's no reason to hold E15 hostage when we could be driving growth in the heartland."