On October 8, Senators Boxer (D-CA) and Markey (D-MA) sent a letter to President Obama and Shaun Donavan, director of Office of Management and Budget (OMB), supporting a common-sense approach to setting 2014 renewable fuel targets. Boxer and Markey state that the EPA’s proposed 2014 fuel volumes would hurt the ability to bring “low carbon cellulosic, advanced biofuels and biomass-based diesel to market.” Additionally, while President Obama has been relatively mute on the topic thus far, he made remarks that are overall supportive of renewable fuels during a trip to Indiana to speak about American manufacturing on October 3. Meanwhile, political pundits now are predicting that final fuel volumes for the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) will not be released by Office of Management and Budget (OMB) until after mid-term elections.
While the President did not specifically mention the RFS during his visit to a town hall in Princeton, Indiana, he stated "We are at the threshold of being able to create new energy sources out of not just crops that we grow - corn and ethanol - but also stuff that we usually throw away, like the corn stalks instead of the corn. And the more we invest in biofuels, clean energy, that can make a big difference in the rural economy." According to Senators Boxer and Markey, scaling back on the RFS will result in greater greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In their letter, they cite a Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) study from April that found the EPA’s proposed reduction would increase carbon pollution by 28.2 million metric tons in 2014, and by 2022, would result in 1 billion metric tons of carbon pollution that could have been avoided under the RFS. The senators also point out that if EPA does not reverse course, the use of these renewable fuel technologies will not end. Instead, U.S. companies built with considerable U.S. research and federal-private partnerships will go to overseas markets -- markets in Asia, Europe and South America which are eager to deploy renewable fuels technologies.