Midwest Congress members introduce legislation to stop retroactive ethanol blending cuts

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Midwest Congress members introduce legislation to stop retroactive ethanol blending cuts

Legislation introduced Tuesday in the U.S. House would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from retroactively reducing ethanol blending requirements.

Ethanol groups are praising the Defend the Blend Act, which would prohibit the EPA from reducing the minimum applicable volume of biofuels into transportation fuel once renewable volume obligations are finalized for any given year.

The Renewable Fuels Association says retroactively slashing renewable volume obligations long after they have been set would throw the RFS program into turmoil and reward a small group of defiant oil refiners for their bad behavior.  ACE Ethanol agrees, saying the RFS was a well-written piece of legislation, and this bill would help keep EPA from continuing to play politics when it comes to administering the program.

The bipartisan bill was introduced by Republican Ashley Hinson from Iowa, Republican Rodney Davis from Illinois, Democrat Angie Craig from Minnesota, and Democrat Ron Kind from Wisconsin.

The four members of Congress issued a statement supporting the new legislation. Ashley Hinson from Iowa says, “Rumors abound that the EPA is going to retroactively reduce biofuel blending requirements for 2020—before they’ve even set levels for 2021 and 2022; this would be detrimental to Iowa’s biofuel industry. My bipartisan bill will hold the Administration accountable for maintaining the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard and give biofuel and ethanol producers the certainty they deserve.” 

Angie Craig from Minnesota says,“The integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard is critical for family farmers and rural communities across my district and the state of Minnesota.”  “The bipartisan Defend the Blend Act will make it very clear to this Administration and all future Administrations: retroactive changes to Renewable Volume Obligations that benefit the fossil fuel industry have no place in the RFS. We must provide certainty for family farmers and the biofuels industry, not instability.”

Congressman Rodney Davis of Illinois says, “10 months into his presidency, President Biden has yet to keep his campaign promise to the American farmer on supporting the Renewable Fuel Standard, which leads me to believe that he might break that promise. That would be a disaster for farmers and the biofuels industry. It’s time for Congress to step up and prohibit the EPA from undermining the RFS blending requirements, which we can do with Congresswoman Hinson’s bipartisan ‘Defend the Blend Act.”

Wisconsin’s Ron Kind says, “Our agriculture and biofuel industries are not only the backbone of our economy here in Wisconsin, but they also feed and fuel the world. Especially as we work to build back from the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to make sure we provide certainty for our biofuel producers and family farmers across Wisconsin and ensure the EPA upholds its requirements under the RFS.”

Just last week, EPA again delayed the deadline for setting Renewable Volume Obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard.