Durbin continues push for higher biofuel standards
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) yesterday responded to a final ruling from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the number of biofuels required to be included in gasoline and diesel fuel.
The EPA released its biofuel volume standards for 2015, 2016, and 2017 on Monday. The EPA devises standards for four different categories of biofuels: cellulosic biofuels, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel and renewable fuel.
The 2016 standard for advanced biofuel is nearly 1 billion gallons higher than the actual 2014 volumes, and the total renewable fuel standard requires 1.8 billion gallons of additional production in 2016. Though the standards continue to set a pace for increased production, Durbin said he will continue to push for even higher standards.
“I am disappointed that the biofuels volume requirements announced by the EPA today are not higher, but thanks to input from thousands of farmers and industry partners, this rule is much stronger than the original proposal,” Durbin said. “I will continue working with Illinois stakeholders to ensure that our state is in a position to take advantage of federal resources to support the biofuels industry.”
The Renewable Fuel Standard was created by Congress over a decade ago to create a large, steadily growing market for the biofuels industry. As a major producer of ethanol, Illinois has had an interest in the standard, particularly since 2013, when the EPA announced it would make changes to the rules.
Durbin and 12 other Senators met with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough in October to lobby for strong volume requirements to boost ethanol interests in their home states.
Illinois recently received nearly $12 million through the USDA's Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership to expand the availability of biofuels by 428 additional pumps at 65 stations across the state.