Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is continuing his fight to rein in the harmful Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
In a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler, Senator Toomey and a group of his Republican colleagues requested that consumer demand and infrastructure constraints be taken into consideration when resetting the amount of ethanol and other biofuels that must be blended into gasoline for 2020.
When the RFS was enacted, the federal government projected motor fuel consumption to be much higher than it is today, and Congress set statutory volume targets that no longer reflect market realities. As a result, this misguided policy has imposed financial harm on Pennsylvania motorists and refiners by mandating that more and more ethanol be blended into a shrinking gasoline pool.
"We strongly urge you to protect U.S. consumers and account for the ethanol blend wall when setting annual target volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard's reset requirements," wrote the senators. "Congress' clear intent in enacting this provision of the RFS was to allow EPA to adjust the annual applicable volumes to match market realities...The blend wall is precisely the sort of market reality that EPA's reset obligation was designed to take into consideration....Failure to set the reset volume below the blend wall will violate the Congressional intent of the statue and harm our nation's consumers and refiners."
In addition to Senator Toomey, this letter is also signed by Senators James Inhofe (R-Okla.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W. Va.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), John Kennedy (R-La.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).
Read the full letter here.
Since joining the Senate in 2011, Senator Toomey has worked to reform the RFS so that Pennsylvania refineries are better able to compete. In October, Senator Toomey brought together Pennsylvania refineries, local labor leaders, business stakeholders and elected officials to discuss the ongoing threat the EPA's RFS poses to the existence of refiners like Monroe Energy and Philadelphia Energy Solutions.