Durbin Joins Bipartisan Group of Senators in Protesting EPA's Renewable Fuel Standard Proposal

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today joined a bipartisan group of Senators in a meeting on Capitol Hill with the Administration of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Gina McCarthy, to protest the agency’s recent proposal reduce the renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).  After the meeting, Durbin made the following statement:


“I was proud to join a bipartisan group of Senators today in opposing the EPA’s effort to undermine the Renewable Fuels Standard that was created by Congress in 2002 to drive growth in the biofuels industry, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stimulate rural economies across America.  It’s a standard that has been working.


“Last year, we used 13.3 billion gallons of ethanol to displace 465 million barrels of oil.  That is 12% of the total US crude oil imports.  In 2012, ethanol reduced emissions from cars and trucks by 33.4 million tons.  That’s the equivalent of taking 5.2 million cars off the road.  And steady biofuels production in Illinois means new jobs in communities that were having trouble economically even before the recession.  The 14 ethanol plants in Illinois have led to 5,400 direct jobs and payroll exceeding $250 million.


“Biofuels are an important part of our energy future and the right path for our country.  But, if the proposed rule is made final, we may never realize the full benefits of Renewable Fuels Standard.”


In November, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposal to reduce the renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).  Prior to the ruling, Durbin joined with thirty-one members of the U.S. Senate in sending a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell encouraging the agencies not to decrease the RFS. In late October, Durbin sent a similar letter to Burwell.