Majority of House wants renewable fuel changes

 

A majority of House members have endorsed some kind of change to the federal corn-based ethanol mandate, a group of congressmen leading an anti-ethanol fight said Thursday.

Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Steve Womack (R-Ark.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) have sponsored legislation to eliminate corn-based ethanol requirements from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). But Beth Breeding, a spokeswoman for Goodlatte, said a majority of members have signed onto some sort of change to the ethanol mandate and do not necessarily agree with completely eliminating it.

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“There is one thing a bipartisan majority of members of the House can agree upon — there is a serious problem with the RFS,” the four congressmen said in a Thursday statement. “It is telling that 218 members from both sides of the aisle, representing communities across the nation, have spoken out against the current RFS and called for reform.”

The Environmental Protection Agency is planning to announce the RFS levels for 2014 in June. It has proposed requiring that fuel refiners blend 15.21 billion gallons of renewable fuels into their products, down from 16.55 billion in 2013.

“As the final rule is written, we urge Administrator [Gina] McCarthy to carefully consider the concerns of a majority of House lawmakers in any decision and take action to reduce the burden of the RFS for 2014,” the lawmakers said.

The bill to eliminate the corn-based ethanol requirement was introduced in April 2013 and has 68 co-sponsors.