Senators push EPA to rethink changes to renewable fuel mandate

A group of senators is pushing the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider its proposed volume levels for the amount of biofuels that must be blended by refiners into the nation's oil supply.

In a letter to EPA chief Gina McCarthyGina McCarthyConvention shows Democrats support fracking, activists on the fringe Overnight Energy: Officials close in on new global emissions deal EPA chief: US, negotiators nearing new emissions deal MORE on Thursday, 10 senators warned that if the proposed levels were finalized they would take away all motivation for investments in advanced biofuels.

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The EPA's proposal puts the level for advanced biofuels at 2.2 billion gallons for 2014, down by 1.5 billion gallons from the target set in 2007 for the amount that should be blended into the gasoline supply.

"Our country requires a diverse and secure energy future that includes advanced biofuels," the letter spearheaded by Sens. Ben CardinBen CardinTim Kaine backs call to boost funding for Israeli missile defense Democratic National Convention event calendar Bernie’s ‘revolution’ marches to Philly MORE (D-Md.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) states.

"It is imperative that the EPA encourage the continued expansion of advanced biofuels. Doing so will reduce carbon pollution and contribute to a more sustainable energy supply now and in the future by helping next-generation biofuels take on a larger share of the total [Renewable Fuel Standard]," the letter adds.

While Collins expressed concern over the possible damage corn-based ethanol could inflict on car, boat, or snowmobile engines, she said developing advanced biofuels would help the U.S. meet its energy and environmental challenges.