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Farm state lawmakers differ on future of Renewable Fuels Standard

by Ben Nuelle

LISTEN: money-matters-12-5-16

An Oklahoma Senator wants to rid the Renewable Fuels Standard.

The Government Accountability Office released two reports on the RFS Monday.

One report says the federal government spent $1.1 billion between fiscal years 2013 and 2015 for advanced biofuel research and development.

GOA determined advanced biofuel targets are unattainable.

During a subcommittee hearing of Homeland Security and Government Affairs, Oklahoma Senator James Lankford says that’s enough proof to scrap the RFS.

“With the release of the GOA reports, we have an independent government auditor’s findings that confirm the stances many in congress including myself, have come to hold. The RFS is not sustainable and not meet its intended goals,” Lankford says. “This program yields few benefits but inflicts substantial costs on consumers. Rather than continuing with an unwieldy program, which consistently fails to meet its targets and goals, it’s time for congress, the next administration, and the American public, to do away with the RFS.”

But, Senator Joni Ernst says the RFS has helped rural economies throughout the Midwest.

“It’s brought a lot of needed competition to the gas pump, saves American consumers money and reduces dependence on foreign oil sources. While some of the aggressive production targets for advance biofuels originally envisioned by congress haven’t been achieved, and I think we all recognize that, it is certainly not time to hit the panic button and pull the rug out from under this burgeoning industry.”

In its second report, GOA concluded the RFS is unlikely to meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The report says production is too limited to meet the program’s greenhouse gas reduction targets.

Watch the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee hearing here.

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