WASHINGTON, Nov. 5, 2015 – A bipartisan group of 184 House members wrote to Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy this week urging her to reconsider the Renewable Fuel Standard proposals the agency released earlier this year, saying they would cause a “breach of the ethanol blend wall.”
In the letter, the lawmakers say that the proposed Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) would “cause adverse impacts on American consumers and the economy.” They argue that the RVOs, which represented an increase in blending requirements but were still below statutory levels called for in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, should be lowered to reflect changes in gasoline demand and fuel efficiency since the EISA was passed.
“This current reality, coupled with an increasing biofuel blending level requirement, has exacerbated the onset of the E10 blend wall,” they said, referring a to a cap on the amount of ethanol that can be consumed in the marketplace through current blends.
Many members of the House Agriculture Committee including former chair Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and current Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas, signed the letter.
“We are gravely concerned, however, that despite the Agency’s recognition of the blend wall, the 2016 proposal acknowledges that it will be breached nonetheless,” the letter said.
In May, the EPA released three years worth of RVO proposals at once. The proposed levels angered both proponents and opponents of the RFS by splitting the difference between a previous proposal and statutory levels. The EPA accepted public comments on the proposals and is expected to announce final RVOs for 2014, 2015, and 2016 by Nov. 30.
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