Pressure builds for RFS reform

Past Congressional attempts to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard have failed, but a biofuels lobbyist says the pressure is building to make some changes.

The recent bankruptcy of a large east coast oil refiner and criticism by Senator Ted Cruz and, more recently, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, have reignited the calls for RFS reform. Biofuels industry lobbyist Tara Billingsley says the RFS conversations in Congress are getting more serious.

“Every year, the House Energy and Commerce Committee decides that it wants to talk about RFS reform, every year they seem to get a little further in that discussion,” Billingsley says. “The Senate this year is taking that discussion further than they have in the past. They’ve kind of flirted with it in the past. They’re actually putting pen to paper in this Congress.”

AUDIO: Tara Billingsley


But Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen told reporters the ethanol industry needs to stand its ground.

“I don’t believe that the RFS needs to be fixed. I don’t think it’s broken,” Dinneen says. “If there are issues that some refiners want to have addressed, tell me what they are and we’ll see what we can do regulatorily to address them.

“As I said earlier, the discussion about renewable fuels ought to be how do we move forward, not how do we go backwards.”

Dinneen says RFA will continue to push for an RVP waiver that would allow E15 to be sold year-round.

AUDIO: Bob Dinneen

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