Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune today commented on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Stephen Johnson's decision to delay a determination regarding the request by the Governor of Texas to waive the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). The EPA has indicated that a decision to grant the waiver would not be reached by the statutory deadline of July 24th, 2008, due to overwhelming public comment and the need to fully study the economic impact of such a waiver.

"Renewable fuels play an important role in reducing our dependence on foreign sources of energy, and there is room for them to have a greater impact in the future," said Thune. "Allowing states to waive the Renewable Fuels Standard would discourage needed investment in renewable fuels, hamper the transition to cellulosic ethanol and would assuredly result in higher fuel prices for consumers. Renewable fuels are facing a well-funded and coordinated attack by interests who have long been opposed to any form of competition in the energy market. I urge the EPA and other regulators to not bow to their pressure.

"In delaying the decision regarding the waiver request, the EPA should take the concerns of renewable fuels proponents into consideration as it weighs this important decision."

Last week, Senator Thune joined a bipartisan group of Senators asking for clarification after it was reported that EPA Administrator Johnson met behind closed doors with Texas Governor Rick Perry to discuss the RFS waiver. Upon receipt of the letter, EPA agreed to make the details of the meeting part of the public record.

Thune and others have requested a similar meeting with Administrator Johnson to discuss the benefits of the RFS and to ensure that this decision is being made with proper Congressional oversight and transparency.