WASHINGTON, Oct. 2, 2014 – The Governors’ Biofuels Coalition (GBC) is asking the Obama administration to restore the volume cuts proposed by EPA in the Renewable Fuels Standard levels for 2014, saying the move would protect jobs and consumer choice at the pump and reduce dependence on foreign oil.
The request was conveyed in a letter to Shaun Donovan, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, and signed by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, chairman and vice chairman, respectively of the GBC, which includes the chief executives of 33 states.
“The continued expansion of the biofuels industry is essential for our nation’s energy and economic future,” the governors said in the letter. “Through continued expansion of biofuels plants, it will be possible to deliver millions of gallons of clean, renewable fuel, create thousands of jobs, lower imported oil expenditures, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80 percent, compared to gasoline.”
That expansion is threatened by the EPA plan, they said, as the proposed cuts in volumes of biofuels to be blended with gasoline have already resulted in production cuts and layoffs. In addition, the proposed rule “has discouraged investment in the newly emerging cellulosic ethanol industry and now threatens the many new plants about to go into commercial production.”
“Amending the proposed rule to one that will build and restore America’s robust leadership in the development and production of domestically produced renewable fuels is crucial in ensuring a successful future in rural America,” the governors concluded.
The EPA has proposed cutting the required volume of biofuels to 15.21 billion gallons, down from 16.55 billion gallons in 2013, citing the inability of the U.S. fueling infrastructure to absorb blends higher than 10 percent, the so-called “blend wall.”
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