Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune today commented on the announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to properly reclassify fuel ethanol plants under the Clean Air Act to meet our growing energy needs and bolster ethanol production across the country.

"Today's ruling by the EPA is a major step forward for the homegrown production of one of America's cleanest renewable fuels-ethanol. This decision will result in greater, more efficient ethanol production, which will lower fuel costs for consumers and reduce automobile pollution and America's dependence on foreign oil. In addition, ethanol production emits 20 percent less greenhouse gasses than petroleum production, which ultimately means less pollution on a per-gallon basis when people fill up their vehicles using ethanol blended gasoline," said Thune.

In May of 2006, Senator Thune spearheaded a bipartisan effort and sent a letter to the EPA, supported by 32 Members of Congress, which called for the reclassification of ethanol production under the strict guidelines of the Clean Air Act. This reclassification was necessary because fuel ethanol production did not exist when the Clean Air Act was signed into law. Years later the EPA arbitrarily classified it under a 100-ton per year permitting threshold.

The new rule classifies fuel ethanol plants similar to beverage alcohol plants, which utilize the same production process and are permitted at 250 tons annually, therefore regulating all ethanol plants at the 250 ton permitting threshold. This decision will in no way impact existing state and federal air quality standards and existing emission control technologies will continue to be required.