Bipartisan Congressional Group Pushes Reform of Renewable Fuel Standard

Power equipment manufacturers encouraged that this proposed reform act could “hit the pause button” on E15 (15% ethanol fuel) entering the marketplace.

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandates that 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels be part of our nation’s fuel supply by 2022. Almost all of this is currently being fulfilled by corn ethanol. A bipartisan group of legislators is trying to change that.

Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Steve Womack (R-AR) and Peter Welch (D-VT) have released the following statement regarding the introduction of the RFS Reform Act in the U.S. House of Representatives:

“The RFS debate is no longer just a debate about fuel or food. It is also a debate about jobs, small business and economic growth. The federal government’s creation of an artificial market for the ethanol industry has quite frankly triggered a domino effect that is hurting American consumers, energy producers, livestock producers, food manufacturers and retailers. The broad coalition of organizations supporting this legislation echo the same sentiment: The RFS is not working.”

Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) has issued the following statement: “The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) strongly supports efforts to hit the pause button on E15 entering the marketplace. It’s clear that reform of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program is needed since the underlying assumptions used to develop the RFS have not been met; E85 use is not expanding, gasoline consumption peaked in 2007 and continues to fall, and advanced and cellulosic fuels (non-corn ethanol) are not available.

“Consumers are growing increasingly wary of ethanol-related issues and evidence in the marketplace that shows product damage and engine failure. Adding to the confusion is the fact that 15% ethanol is dangerous—and is in fact illegal—to use in any non-road engine equipment, such as boats, utility vehicles, chainsaws, snowthrowers, generators, mowers, motorcycles, snowmobiles, power washers, lawn tractors, trimmers, edgers, pruners, chippers, shredders and blowers and other small engine uses, such as in irrigation, well systems and pumps, for example.

“This legislation will go a long way to protect the 150 million Americans using 400 million pieces of engine equipment for which E15 is not a legal fuel. We welcome this legislation and are pleased that members of Congress are addressing this critical challenge for the engine products industry.”