Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor testified before the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works at its hearing titled The Environmental Protection Agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard Programme: Challenges and Opportunities”.
In her testimony, Skor spoke on how a strong Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is critical to decarbonise the transportation sector and lower prices for Americans at the pump.
“The RFS remains the nation’s most successful clean energy policy,” said Skor. “Yet, its full potential as a climate solution remains untapped. For the past eight years, a lack of accountability and failure to comply with the law has slowed progress on carbon reductions.
“Today, as Congress looks to immediately reduce the carbon intensity of our nation’s transportation fleet, it is imperative that biofuels like ethanol – the most affordable and abundant source of low-carbon, high-octane fuel on the planet – are part of our transportation mix now and into the future.”
Skor noted that in order to realise the full environmental benefits of the RFS, EPA must fix and finalise the 2020, 2021, and 2022 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) as quickly as possible.
She added: “Since 2013, the RFS has consistently been undermined through the abuse of waivers, small refinery exemptions, and compliance deadline extensions. Most of these administrative actions have been to appease the unfounded claims of a select few looking to subvert the RFS, slowing progress on carbon reductions.
“EPA’s recent proposals, delayed as they are, right some of these wrongs. They include the required 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuel in 2022, a long overdue remedy for EPA’s unlawful 2016 general waiver, and an end to the abuse of small refinery exemptions.
“Despite these positives, EPA takes a major step backward by seeking to revise downward the 2020 blending obligations finalized two years ago. This retroactive change exceeds the agency’s authority and creates market disruption and uncertainty. EPA needs to fix and finalise the proposals as soon as possible.”
Looking forward, Skor urged the Senators to take action on year-round access to higher blends of ethanol, like E15, to achieve shared energy goals.
She concluded: “Nationwide E15 use would slash CO2 emissions by more than 17 million tons, support more than 180,000 new jobs, and save consumers more than 12 billion dollars in annual fuel costs.”