Washington, DC –(ENEWSPF)—May 28, 2015. Today, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (IL-08) sent an open letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy and Director of the Office of Management and Budget Shaun Donovan asking that as they finalize a proposal on renewable fuel standards, that they set strong Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) levels that are consistent with the law. The EPA is expected to release their proposal on Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) levels for 2014, 2015 and 2016 by June 1.
“While serving in the Iraq War, I saw firsthand the painful price our country pays because of our dependence on foreign oil,” said Duckworth. “My fellow troops risked life and limb for this precious battlefield resource. I am concerned that weakened Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) under the RFS will leave America less secure and more dependent on foreign oil imports.”
Duckworth has been a strong supporter of renewable fuels at the Department of Defense and in the civilian sector. The text of her letter is below.
May 28, 2015
The Honorable Gina McCarthy
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20460
Shaun L. Donovan
Office of Management and Budget
301 G Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20024
Dear Administrator McCarthy and Director Donovan:
As you work to finalize Renewable Fuel Standards for 2014, 2015 and subsequent years, I am writing to urge you to maintain a strong long-term standard that will encourage continued growth of the American-made fuel market. Clean, home-grown biofuels are not just important for our environment and economy, but are imperative for our nation’s energy independence and national security.
As a Veteran and a Member of the House Armed Services Committee, the issue of American energy security is very important to me. While serving in the Iraq War, I saw firsthand the painful price our country pays because of our dependence on foreign oil. My fellow troops risked life and limb for this precious battlefield resource. This is why I have advocated for the development of home-grown energy sources both within the U.S. military and the civilian sector.
America’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is poised to help end our country’s dependence on foreign oil – something Congress intended since the law’s inception nearly a decade ago. Production of biofuels at home, like the ethanol we make in my home state of Illinois, means less foreign oil imports from unstable countries like Russia and Saudi Arabia. Instead of creating oil jobs in the Middle East, the RFS is driving job creation and innovation here at home, supporting over 852,000 green, well-paying jobs nationwide – jobs that can’t be shipped overseas.
I am concerned that weakened Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) under the RFS will leave America less secure and more dependent on foreign oil imports. Lowering RVO levels will drive American investments in renewable fuel overseas. Already, the delays and problems in establishing standards for 2014 and 2015 have frozen $13.7 billion dollars in investments in advanced biofuels like cellulosic ethanol, the world’s cleanest motor fuel.
I know many of my constituents agree that American investors and consumers at the gas pump are better off supporting American jobs and access to clean, secure American energy, rather than Middle Eastern oil.
The EPA has an important choice to make. I urge you to support America’s rural economies, innovation, and energy independence. Now, more than ever, we must strengthen, not destroy, America’s homegrown, clean, and secure alternatives to foreign oil.
Member of Congress