A Nebraska senator says the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to reduce the requirement for bio-fuels in the nation’s gasoline supply just adds to her growing frustration with the agency.
The EPA has released its long-anticipated proposed revision to the renewable fuel mandate.
The agency proposes requiring refineries to blend 17.4 billion gallons of biofuels, including ethanol, into the nation’s gasoline supply next year. That would fall far short of the Congressional mandate of 22.3 billion.
United States Sen. Deb Fischer says both Republican and Democratic senators sat down with the EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to ask why the agency was lowering the requirement.
“I would have to say I don’t think we ever did get answers on really the reasons that they were considering change,” Fischer tells Nebraska reporters.
The change is a blow to Nebraska ethanol producers.
Most of the biofuels would be corn-based fuel, most of it 10% ethanol blended with 90% gasoline. Not all the biofuels would come from corn. The revised requirement proposed getting 3.4 billion gallons from cellulosic ethanol, which can be made from wood chips, grasses, and other material.
Fischer says the change seems to miss the intent of Congress.
“I don’t think the EPA does a very good job of following the intent of Congress or listening to citizens,” Fischer says.
Fischer says it appears the EPA is determined to move forward on its own on a number of issues, regardless of Congressional sentiment. She sites as examples the Waters of the United States rules opposed by farmers and ranchers as well as pending emission requirements which could raise utility costs in coal-dependent states like Nebraska.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]