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Congressional Leadership Moving Towards Position on Renewable Fuel Standard Advocated by the Domestic Fuel Solutions Group

Upton’s “Gang of Four” Seeking Reasonable Compromise on RFS

WASHINGTON, DC: August 9, 2013 – From Day One the Domestic Fuel Solutions Group (DFSG) has been advocating for reasonable RFS reform.  Congress is taking notice.

At the end of two days of recent House Energy & Commerce Committee hearings on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Sub-Committee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), frustrated by the lack of flexibility on both sides of the issue, charged a “Congressional gang of four” working group to review likely alternatives and come up with a proposal for RFS reform that finds some middle ground.  The working group, made up of Congressmen Shimkus (R-IL), Gardner (R-CO), Terry (R-NE) and Scalise (R-LA), represents a full spectrum of interests and opinions about the RFS.  But one thing all four can agree upon: a bipartisan compromise must be forged.

“I’m standing squarely with a foot in both bodies, and it’s my goal and desire to get to a solution that benefits us all, not one side over the other,” said Rep. Shimkus (E&E Daily, July 24).  
 

The DFSG has been strongly advocating for compromise on the RFS since it formed a coalition of poultry, livestock, natural gas, food industry, environmental, transportation and business groups last year.  Believing the RFS to be an outdated standard that needs to be improved, the DFSG has been lobbying Congress to apply the “all of the above” approach to alternative fuels and consider making a broader array of domestic resources eligible to be used as feedstocks under the conventional biofuel portion of the RFS.  Allowing additional feedstocks, like cheap and abundant natural gas, to be used to make alternative fuels like ethanol would reduce the US’s dangerous over-reliance on corn.

“Our position has always been that the RFS is a flawed regulation that hasn’t evolved with the times,” said DFSG Executive Director Seth Jacobson.  “It’s driven up corn prices and caused hardship for businesses and families across the US.  New technologies can alleviate the corn crisis but are effectively shut out of the market by the RFS.  The DFSG has always felt that there’s a pragmatic path to reasonable RFS reform, and we believe natural gas is one of the ways to reach this solution.”

“Only with a true ‘all of the above’ approach will we grow our fuel economy and gain greater energy independence,” said Rob Casto, Executive Director of the American Council of Engineering Companies of West Virginia, a DFSG member. “I urge Congress to strongly consider a sensible reform of the RFS and help our state, community and local businesses benefit from a balanced energy policy.”

The DFSG is a strong backer of HR 1959, a House bill with bipartisan support which seeks to add a new “Domestic Alternative Fuels” category to the RFS that would include abundant domestic resources like natural gas.

About the Domestic Fuel Solutions Group

The Domestic Fuel Solutions Group (DFSG) is a growing coalition of fuel industry stakeholders who share the common goal of reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil and advancing a broader range of alternative fuels that impart the greatest economic, environmental and public benefit.  The objectives of the DFSG are to identify pragmatic solutions to challenges facing the U.S. energy market, promote new strategies and technologies, and marshal the broad-based support necessary to strengthen domestic fuels policy.

For more information on the DFSG, visit www.dfsgusa.org.

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