Recent Press Releases

Thune Statement on Proposed RFS Blending Targets

“The EPA dropped the ball on its opportunity to set the RFS on a new trajectory that would have leveraged American biofuels amid record-high energy costs.”

December 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today issued the following statement in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) proposed “set” rule under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The “set” rule establishes future-year blending requirements for low-carbon biofuels, with EPA proposing modest growth over the next three years.

“The EPA dropped the ball on its opportunity to set the RFS on a new trajectory that would leverage American biofuels amid record-high energy costs,” said Thune. “The limited increases in proposed volumes inadequately respond to the fact that the biofuels industry is poised to add significant production capacity and new fuel technology in the coming years. The administration had clear justification to set robust blending volumes to ensure this growth is truly additive to the RFS. I am concerned that the proposed volumes may either scare off new investment or displace conventional biofuels that have helped reduce prices and emissions in our fuel supply while also providing a key market for farmers. I look forward to a robust discussion about this proposal to ensure that the final volumes correspond with the ongoing growth in the biofuels sector. It’s also long past time for the EPA to update its greenhouse gas modeling to accurately reflect the environmental contributions of biofuels, which EPA should include in its final rule.”

On December 1, 2022, the EPA released a proposed rule to establish required blending volumes for 2023, 2024, and 2025 under the RFS. The RFS provided statutory blending requirements through 2022, making this the first time EPA had the authority to set future volume targets. In its proposed rule, EPA acknowledged that it is overdue to update its modeling to determine the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of biofuels.

In October, Thune led his colleagues in pressing the EPA to establish robust renewable volumes and provide regulatory certainty in the “set” rule for the RFS. An ardent supporter of higher ethanol blends like E15 fuel, Thune led the successful effort to restore summertime E15 sales for 2022 after repeatedly calling on the president to take action. Earlier this Congress, Thune introduced the Adopt Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation Act, bipartisan legislation that would fully recognize the greenhouse gas reductions achieved by modern biofuels. Thune also introduced a separate bill to approve advanced renewable fuel technologies and lower biofuel emissions, policies he has also urged President Biden to adopt.