EPA chief Michael Regan tried to put the best face he could on the administration’s biofuels policies at a recent House Ag hearing. But one Illinois lawmaker was having none of it.
Southern Illinois Congressman Michael Bost dismissed claims by EPA’s Regan that the Biden Administration is friendly to biofuels compared with electricity to power vehicles.
Bost; “You’re not providing an ‘all-in’ strategy, that I believe is necessary for our rural communities. And the problem is, we end up, from what I see of this administration, there more interested in selling a message, whether it’s true or whether it’s not, or whether we’re ready to advance or not, and they’re willing to sacrifice the farmer and our economy to do so.”
Pointing to the EPA’s reluctance to approve E15 sales for this summer, and failure to propose more robust three-year volume targets for biomass diesel and advanced biofuels.
Regan claimed EPA’s still looking at those targets but for a brief moment confided to Bost, the agency’s under pressure from biofuel opponents. Regan; “You’ve given the opposite argument of what I hear from the other side. I think when I set the highest RVO levels the agency’s ever set, in 2022, the EV crowd had some questions about that, but we moved forward.”
Dismissing doubts by farmers and biofuel producers, Regan said “I think that this administration has made a very strong, strong, strong investment in biofuels, especially advanced biofuels…and it’s reflected in these RVOs, E15 and aviation fuel.”
But Illinois’ Bost questioned how the EPA proposed 190 million gallons more biomass diesel in its latest rule, versus a 330-million-gallon hike last year, even as industrial capacity is increasing. Regan said EPA got its number from USDA.