July 5, 2023

EPA’s RFS Policy Faces New Criticism


Senator Pete Ricketts of Nebraska is voicing his dissatisfaction with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its biofuels policy, highlighting the confusion and mixed signals it has generated within the agriculture sector. As a Republican senator, Ricketts emphasizes the proven benefits of ethanol and biodiesel and expresses disappointment in the EPA’s failure to raise the Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO), especially given the administration’s commitment to carbon reduction.

In collaboration with Representative Brad Finstad of Minnesota, Ricketts penned a letter to the EPA, questioning the selective nature of briefings provided to certain members of Congress ahead of the public release of the Renewable Fuel Standard policy. This lack of transparency is particularly puzzling considering the bipartisan support for ethanol. Ricketts asserts the need for sustained promotion of biofuels, citing their positive environmental impact and the support they provide to farmers and ranchers.

The letter received widespread support from influential figures, including Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley of Iowa, as well as Representatives Michelle Fischbach, Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Zach Nunn, Randy Feenstra, Mike Flood, Mark Alford, Adrian Smith, and Dusty Johnson. These co-signers echo Ricketts’ concerns and call for increased support for the biofuels industry.

As the Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate, and Nuclear Safety, Ricketts holds authority over the EPA and is dedicated to advocating for the interests of American agriculture. While acknowledging some investment in biofuels by the current administration, Ricketts believes there is untapped potential for further support to benefit the industry.

The EPA’s inconsistent messaging on biofuels policy has generated uncertainty within the agriculture community. As the nation grapples with renewable energy strategies, it is imperative for the EPA to provide clear guidance and foster a supportive environment to ensure the growth and success of the biofuels sector.


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