South Dakota Senator Expresses Disappointment over Biofuel Blending Obligations

Speculation is growing about what’s going on behind the scenes at the EPA as they continue to extend their own deadline for biofuel blending mandates.

“I think part of it is because they are focusing on electric vehicles, and they seem really intent on going down the path where electric vehicles which I think is unrealistic. I mean, we’re going to be using liquid fuels for some time. And we’re using liquid fuels we ought to be maximizing optimizing the amount of biofuels that goes into that fuel mix because it runs much cleaner than traditional gasoline.”

South Dakota Senator John Thune says the unions representing refinery workers may also be weighing heavily with this administration, despite criticism over high gas prices.

“If you look at what it costs for a gallon of ethanol, for example, versus a gallon of traditional gasoline or what the price of oil is these days, yeah, you could bring the price down if you’re blending a 10% 15% 30%. Even more, you could significantly reduce the cost of gasoline, which is at a seven year high and in that dramatically affects people’s pocketbooks.”

He says the administration should also be focused on expanding infrastructure to support higher blends.

“I’d like to see us get beyond e30 but if needed a minimum and the most places today, we’re still at 10. And one of the reasons for that is there isn’t a belief I think among fuel retailers out there are that there is support for going e15 and for them to make the necessary investment in the infrastructure to accommodate it. And I think some of these resources that have been available to USDA, I hope will be used to install the type of infrastructure that would support higher blends.”

The ongoing delay also raises questions about potential solutions for policy makers.

“The industry is looking at relief from the courts, a number of cases already been litigated. And, of course, we’re hoping that the administration will get off the dime do something here, but absent that, at some point, we have to look for legislative remedies.”

Senator Thune and several of his farm state colleagues have tried requesting meetings with the president to share their concerns but have so far been ignored.

Earlier this month biofuels group, growth energy announced plans to sue the EPA over their delay in releasing the blending volumes.


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