The EPA's proposed rule would lower the biofuel targets for 2014, discouraging investment in the biofuel industry, hurting jobs and rural communities across the state.

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Dec. 18 led a bipartisan group of 16 senators to meet with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy to urge changes to the proposed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) 2014 rule. The EPA's proposed rule would hurt the biofuels industry by lowering the biodiesel target below current industry production levels and reduce the conventional ethanol target by over a billion gallons, discouraging investment and hurting jobs and rural communities across the country.

In addition to Klobuchar, other attendees included senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), John Thune (R-SD), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Al Franken (D-MN), Dan Coats (R-IN), John Hoeven (R-ND), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Deb Fischer (R-NE), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND).

"The Renewable Fuels Standard has driven growth and innovation in the renewable fuels industry," said Klobuchar. "At a time when the oil industry continues to receive billions in unnecessary subsidies, it simply does not make sense to create so much uncertainty in a sector that has helped reduce our dependence on foreign oil and is vital to our rural economy."

"Homegrown renewable energy is creating good Minnesota jobs while reducing our dependence on foreign oil," said Sen. Franken, who chairs the Energy Subcommittee. "Today, I urged the head of the EPA to rethink the Administration's shortsighted proposal to cut the renewable fuel standard because it undermines efforts to advance the next generation of renewable fuels. We need to find ways to expand our commitment to renewable energy, not pull back from it."

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 conventional ethanol target to 13 billion gallons. This is 800 million gallons below the 2013 target of 13.8 billion gallons, and 1.4 billion gallons below the 2014 statutory target of 14.4 billion gallons.