WASHINGTON, July 8, 2015 – The Renewable Fuel Standard is expected get its first test of support in Congress in quite a while. This week, Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., could offer an amendment to the House Interior-Environment appropriations bill (HR 2822) to stop EPA from implementing the RFS.
The American Farm Bureau Federation is urging lawmakers to reject the measure. “Destabilization of the current regulatory and policy environment would impede further investment that drives innovation in the biofuels space and would have detrimental impacts to the rural economy,” Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman wrote House members. He was joined by a group of 25 producer organizations, renewable fuel companies and stakeholders who are urging the House of Representatives to “reject any proposals that amend, repeal, defund, or otherwise modify or interfere with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).”
Signees range from biofuel stalwarts like Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association, businesses like DuPont and Monsanto, and producer groups like the National Corn Growers Association and the National Association of Wheat Growers. The letter calls proposed legislative changes to the RFS “misguided efforts” that will “halt our nation’s progress in reducing our reliance on foreign oil in our transportation fuel supply, negatively impacting our economy, hurting American farmers and resulting in higher gas prices over time.” The full Appropriations Committee reported the bill out on June 18, but the House adjourned for the July Fourth recess on June 25, leaving the bill as unfinished business.
Other amendments that have been proposed to the fiscal 2016 bill include measures barring the implementation of land-use management plans for the sage grouse, and another that would stop the agency from enforcing the ESA listing for the gray wolf in three Western states. Last night, the House adopted by voice vote an amendment by Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., to bar the Fish and Wildlife Service from enforcing its listing of the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species.
The bill already includes riders to prevent the administration from enforcing its rule re-defining the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act and from lowering the limit for ground-level ozone. Both bills also would continue to block the Fish and Wildlife Service from listing the sage grouse under the ESA.
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