Recent Press Releases

Thune Applauds EPA Decision to Uphold Renewable Fuels Standard

--Announcement is Big Win for Domestic Energy Producers--

August 7, 2008

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune today applauded the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decision to deny the request by the Governor of Texas to waive the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS).

"At a time when our dangerous overdependence on imported sources of energy is dramatically impacting our economy, homegrown renewable fuels are more important than ever," said Thune. "Renewable fuels are saving consumers money at the pump today and will continue to do so in the future.

"While our country is set to produce roughly nine billion gallons of corn-based ethanol by the end of the year, the second-generation of biofuels production is nearly here and it will take significant investment to make commercial cellulosic ethanol production a reality. Granting this waiver would have increased gas prices for consumers, discouraged the development of biofuels, and jeopardized the future of cellulosic biorefineries that have already been built or are in the planning or construction stages around the nation."

In 2007, Senator Thune played a key role in increasing the Renewable Fuels Standard to 36 billion gallons by 2022 as part of the Energy Security and Independence Act of 2007. Of the 36 billion gallons, 21 billion must be cellulosic ethanol, which does not compete for food-related resources. Thune, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, also helped craft the 2008 Farm Bill, which included Thune's Biomass Crop Assistance Program that incentivizes harvesting, transportation, and storage of biomass and the production of crops for alternative energy purposes.

Earlier this year, Senator Thune and a number of Senate colleagues formally opposed the request submitted by the Governor of Texas to waiver the RFS. In addition, on July 27, 2008, Thune and a bipartisan group of Senators met with Administrator Johnson to reiterate their opposition to waiving the RFS after it was publically reported that Governor Perry held a closed-door meeting with the EPA Administrator.