WASHINGTON, D.C. – In testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson took issue with a legislative proposal from Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) that could hamper EPA's ability to administer the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

According to Jackson, "Chairman Upton's bill would have additional negative impacts that its drafters might not have intended. For example, it would prohibit EPA from taking further actions to implement the Renewable Fuels Program, which promotes the domestic production of advanced bio-fuels."

Part of the RFS program requires that biofuels like ethanol reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least a certain percentage compared to a base-level gasoline to qualify under the RFS. Corn-based ethanol, for example, must reduce GHG emissions by 20 percent. Cellulosic ethanol must achieve 60 percent reductions to qualify for RFS credit.

Concerns over language in Chairman Upton's bill have been brought to RFA's attention, specifically as they relate to eliminating EPA's ability to consider GHG emissions. Potentially at issue is EPA's ability in the years to come to set volume requirements called for under the RFS as well as EPA's ability to approve new biofuel technologies for inclusion in the RFS volumes. The RFA is reviewing the language and any possible impact it may or may not have on the RFS.

"The RFS is a critical component of America's strategy to become more energy self-reliant," said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. "The RFA is carefully reviewing the concerns that have been raised and evaluating what, if any, impact they would have on achieving the goals of the RFS. Efforts seeking to reign in EPA's greenhouse gas regulatory authority must not run counter to America's need for domestic, renewable alternatives to imported oil."

SOURCE: Renewable Fuels Association