U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today released the following statement in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to lower congressionally mandated biofuels targets for 2014. The proposal would set the volumes at under 10 percent of projected gasoline consumption, and pull the rug out from underneath a growing American-made energy sector poised to create thousands of jobs.
“The so-called blend wall is a crisis manufactured by the oil industry, which is interested in eliminating the competition so they can continue reaping even greater windfall profits. The proposed rule could cost thousands of good paying clean energy jobs and mean less competition at the pump. I urge the administration to take a hard look at how this could seriously set back growth at a crucial time when tremendous progress is being made toward commercial-scale production of advanced biofuels.
“I’m committed to working with the EPA to ensure new standards don’t stand in the way of American innovation. It’s important we continue growing and expanding access to homegrown fuels that not only reduce our dependence on foreign fuel, but also create jobs here and grow the U.S. economy.”
Sen. Stabenow has been a longtime advocate for the homegrown, renewable fuels sector, pressing for the continued development and production of advanced biofuels like cellulosic ethanol. As Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and lead author of the Senate-passed Farm Bill, Sen. Stabenow included a robust renewable energy title in the Farm Bill, giving farmers and small businesses access to resources and programs to continue growing the renewable fuels sector, and accelerating the development of advanced biofuels.