By South Dakota AgConnection
A bipartisan group of 16 senators — including South Dakota’s U.S. senators — met Wednesday with EPA administrator Gina McCarthy to urge changes to the proposed Renewable Fuel Standard 2014 rule.
Opponents to the EPA’s proposed rule say it would hurt the biofuels industry by lowering the biodiesel target below current industry production levels and reduce the total biofuels target by over a billion gallons. Critics add this would discourage investment and hurt jobs and rural communities.
Attendees included Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Mazie Hirono (D-Haw.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.).
The meeting was organized by Senators Klobuchar and Thune.
The EPA’s proposed rule would set the biodiesel target at 1.28 billion gallons, which is below current industry production levels of around 1.7 billion gallons. It would also reduce the total biofuels target to 15.2 billion gallons. This is 1.34 billion gallons below the 2013 target of 16.55 billion gallons, and almost 3 billion gallons below the 2014 statutory target of 18.15 billion gallons.