Peterson Introduces Legislation to Protect Domestic Biofuel Industry

Unfair government restrictions corrected by bill.

Published on: May 15, 2009

Thursday House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and Ranking Member Frank Lucas, R-Okla., along with a bipartisan group of 42 members of Congress introduced a bill to correct flawed provisions in the Renewable Fuel Standard, which limit the potential for clean, homegrown renewable biofuels to meet the nation's energy needs.

"The unreasonable restrictions placed on the biofuels industry in the 2007 Energy Bill were never debated by Congress, and I've spent the past two years trying to undo the damage that we're seeing now that EPA has published the proposed regulations that will make it impossible to meet the RFS," Peterson said. "In order to ensure that a clean, homegrown biofuels industry will succeed in the United States, we need to have Federal energy policies are flexible, practical, and innovative."

Lucas called the bill a legislative response to poorly crafted EPA regulation. He says the most important provision in the bill is the expansion of the acreage eligible to produce biomass feedstock.

Language added at the last minute without debate to the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 that forces biofuels producers to meet an unfair standard for lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions and restricts the availability of new feedstocks for biofuels is reversed by the Renewable Fuel Standard Improvement Act.

Consideration of indirect land use when calculating greenhouse gas emissions for advanced biofuels was eliminated by the bill. The authors citied the fact, that there is no reliable method to predict accurately how biofuel production will affect land use in the United States or internationally.

The bill also reinstates the definition of renewable biomass included in the 2008 Farm Bill rather than the restrictive definition EPA had established.