Recent Press Releases

Washington, DC —  A bipartisan group of more than 32 Members of Congress recently joined Senator John Thune (R-SD) in sending a letter to EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson in support of EPA's proposed rule that would properly classify ethanol plants under the Clean Air Act to meet today's energy needs and bolster ethanol production across the country.
The current Clean Air Act, originally written before the ethanol industry even existed, arbitrarily places a 100-ton emission-permitting threshold on fuel ethanol plants, while beverage alcohol plants, which utilize the same production process, are permitted at 250 tons annually.  The proposed rule, when finalized, would update the classification of fuel ethanol plants similar to beverage alcohol plants, allowing all ethanol plants to be regulated at the 250 ton threshold, thus increasing ethanol production to make significant progress toward the goal of achieving greater energy independence in the U.S.
The proposed rule, announced on February 28th, 2006, was subject to a 60-day public comment period, which closed today. A final decision is expected by late this summer or early fall.
"American consumers and government leaders alike are embracing a shift toward home-grown alternative fuels such as ethanol to reduce our dependence on oil and secure our nation's energy future. In support of this effort, I was recently joined by a bipartisan group of more than 32 of my colleagues who support the EPA's proposed rule to properly classify ethanol plants and open the door to greatly enhanced ethanol production across the country," Thune said. "This rule would remove stifling regulatory barriers, while protecting the environment, so ethanol production can increase and we can make significant progress toward our goal of achieving energy independence in the United States. I'm hopeful that our letter will provide further support for this important issue as the EPA works to finalize the rule to benefit our farmers, strengthen the ethanol industry and meet our nation's energy needs."
A PDF copy of the support letter can be viewed here. The bipartisan list of supporters includes 33 Members of Congress. In addition, a number of other Members of Congress sent their own letters to the EPA Administrator in support of the proposed rule.