Bipartisan Group of Senators Wants to Get Rid of Renewable Fuel Standards

A trio of senators launched a bipartisan effort to get rid of the renewable fuel standard established by Congress in 2005.

In 2007, Congress expanded that standard to require that even larger percentages of biofuels be blended into the nation's gas supply.

Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) today induced The Renewable Fuel Standard Repeal Act to scrap the entire thing.

“The Renewable Fuel Standard is fundamentally broken and beyond repair,” Barrasso said. “Instead of delivering meaningful environmental benefits, it’s driven up food and fuel costs for American families.  This flawed program will also inevitably lead to widespread lawsuits against American manufacturers. When Congress enacts bad policy, the right response is to scrap it and start over.”

“The Renewable Fuel Standard isn’t working for consumers, refiners, or livestock groups,” said Pryor. “These mandates are unworkable and need to be overhauled. Repealing the RFS will allow us to develop a new policy for advanced biofuels without driving up Arkansans’ gas and food prices.”

Barrasso and Toomey tried filing the repeal as an amendment to the farm bill last month, but it never came to the Senate floor.

The renewable fule standard has been blamed for higher pump prices and has led the EPA to move forward with higher-ethanol blends seen as harmful to engines and fuel systems.

“The biofuel use requirements have a negative effect on our economy,” said Toomey. “Not only does the mandate likely harm our car engines, it drives up farmers’ and ranchers’ costs and causes increased prices in almost everything we buy in the grocery store."

"Current rules require refiners to blend increasing amounts of biofuels especially corn ethanol into the nation's gasoline supply. The result is that corn prices have shot up and this is troubling for Pennsylvania livestock farmers who devote about half their operating costs to feed."