Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune today commented on his meeting with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Stephen Johnson regarding the request by the Governor of Texas to waive the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). Senator Thune joined a bipartisan group of Senators in requesting a meeting after press reports indicated that Administrator Johnson had met with Texas Governor Rick Perry behind closed doors to discuss the waiver request.

"Studies have demonstrated that renewable fuels are saving consumers money at the pump," said Thune. "Waiving the Renewable Fuels Standard would increase gas prices and slow the transition to second generation biofuels. I strongly urged Administrator Johnson to weigh all of these factors in considering the Texas request.

"In 2007, Congress passed an Energy Bill which stipulated that both corn-based and cellulosic ethanol will be an increasing part of our nation's fuel supply. Because of our nation's dangerous overdependence on foreign sources of oil, it would be irresponsible for the EPA to undercut the use of renewable fuel here in the United States-not to mention potentially jeopardizing the existing corn-based ethanol industry and the 55 cellulosic biorefineries that are complete, under construction, or in the planning stages in 31 states."

The EPA has indicated that a decision would not be made by today's statutory deadline because of the overwhelming public comment on the matter and the need to more fully study the economic impact of the waiver. The Administrator indicated that a decision was likely by early August.