June 05, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today made the following statement on his amendment number 961 to the Senate farm bill (S. 954) that would allow states to opt-out of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
“I applaud Chairman Lankford for highlighting the many problems that are inherent with the RFS during today's House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing," said Inhofe. "The RFS has major problems and is in dire need of repeal. As a result of vehicle efficiency improvements in recent years, gasoline demand has stalled even as the EPA’s RFS mandate has increased. Subsequently, the amount of ethanol present in gasoline is rising to unprecedented levels that can corrode engines and void vehicle warranties.
“I am also concerned about how the RFS encourages market manipulation by governments. For example, I’ve heard that several states have recently enacted laws that require gasoline suppliers to sell clear gas without ethanol to gasoline distributors, so they can blend it themselves and sell RINs back to the obligated parties for a bigger profit. These laws have one intent, and that is to take advantage of the federal government’s involvement in the fuel market to shift profits from one segment of the industry to another. This is only possible because government is intervening in the market so profoundly.
“Oklahomans will not stand for this. My amendment would allow any state, including Oklahoma, to completely opt-out of the RFS’s requirements so they can buy clear, safe gasoline without heavy handed EPA regulations getting in the way. The RFS is bad policy, and one of my primary goals this summer is to shed light on and bring transparency to the many problems being caused by this law.”
In May 2011, Inhofe along with former Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and four members of congress introduced the Fuel Feedstock Freedom Act that would give individual states the option not to participate in the corn ethanol portion of the Renewable Fuel Standard.