Lawmakers push bill to reform renewable fuel mandate

A bipartisan group of lawmakers pushed legislation to scale back parts of the renewable fuel mandate on Wednesday.

Reps. Bob GoodlatteBob GoodlatteThe hidden controversy over online shopping Report: Investor visa program mainly funds wealthy areas FTC proposes reforms to crack down on patent trolls MORE (R-Va.), Peter WelchPeter WelchYahoo hack spurs push for legislation Retailers have jumped the shark EpiPen investigation shows need for greater pricing transparency, other reforms MORE (D-Vt.), Steve Womack (R-Ariz.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.) re-introduced a bill aimed at eliminating the corn-based ethanol requirement in the Renewable Fuel Standard, which is proposed every year by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The fuel mandate determines the amount of ethanol and biofuels refiners must blend into the nation's fuel supply.

The congressmen argued the amount of ethanol required in the standard is "unworkable" for refiners, cars, and equipment that must use the fuel. 

"With the EPA’s continued failure to meet their deadlines, it’s clear that the majorly flawed RFS just isn’t working. We have a renewed opportunity this Congress to act on real reform of the RFS," Goodlatte said.

The push to reform and outright repeal the fuel requirement has increased on Capitol Hill in the past few months following the EPA's decision to hold off on releasing its final rule for 2014 volume standards. 

Due to the delay in finalizing the 2014 standards, the agency also pushed back proposing the 2015 volume requirements, prompting outrage. 

While the oil and gas industry praised the move to chip away at the fuel requirement, the biofuels industry called the legislation "reckless."

"The announcement today is a step backward in energy policy, cutting the legs out from under a burgeoning cellulosic biofuels industry, denying consumers choice at the pump, and returning us to a petroleum only energy economy that brings nothing but price volatility and environmental disaster,” said CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association Bob Dinneen.