Swalwell Leads Letter of CA Members Urging the EPA to Protect Renewable Fuel Standard

October 15, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell (CA-15) led a letter of six California Members of Congress to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy urging the EPA to not waive the statutory blending levels under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). In its recent rulemaking, the EPA has proposed lowering the amount of renewable fuels that must be blended into our transportation fuels and allowing for waivers that would give oil companies the green light to avoid their obligations under the law.

“Reducing emissions is very important in California, where we have taken the lead to improve air quality and our environment. The EPA rule could threaten the progress we are making by removing an incentive for the oil industry to invest in providing the infrastructure to deliver cleaner, renewable fuels,” said Swalwell. “I am grateful to be joined on this letter by several California colleagues to ensure consumers have access to the cleanest and most affordable transportation fuels.”

The RFS requires transportation fuels be blended with renewable biofuels.  Biofuels are those made from living things (i.e., corn) and using them provides environmental and economic benefits. The law sets targets, which increase each year, for how much biofuel is to be blended. The EPA has proposed waiving these levels and setting total required renewable fuel levels below the statutory amounts in its rulemaking.  This could stall further investment in advanced renewable fuels by removing the market for these fuels and have a negative impact on environmental sustainability.

According to Fuels America, the biofuels industry supports 850,000 American jobs and adds $185 billion in economic output. In California alone, the biofuels sector supports nearly 60,000 jobs.

Swalwell was joined on the letter by CA Reps. Julia Brownley (CA-26), Susan Davis (CA-53), Sam Farr (CA-20), Scott Peters (CA-52), Loretta Sanchez (CA-46), and Jackie Speier (CA-14).

The letter can be viewed here.