Well I recieved this back from Murkowski. Talk about hot air....
Thank you for contacting me about the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). I appreciate hearing from you and having the opportunity to respond.
While I welcome the increased use of biofuels, I have significant concerns about the RFS and believe it should be reformed. In recent years we have seen a series of implementation challenges, including criminal fraud and volatile compliance costs for those obligated to purchase biofuels. Very few of our vehicles and very little of our nation's infrastructure are warranted to use fuels that contain more than 10 percent ethanol.
Despite a guaranteed market through the RFS and a separate tax subsidy, cellulosic biofuel production remains far below mandated levels. Serious questions have emerged about the RFS' environmental and agricultural impacts.
As our nation's annual fuel consumption continues to decline, it has also become harder and harder to blend more biofuel into gasoline, as is required by the RFS through the year 2022. This has hastened the arrival of the so-called "blend wall," which represents the effective limit for ethanol the predominant biofuel under the RFS that can be safely and legally mixed into the broader fuel supply.
As the Ranking Member on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I have been closely following and examining this issue. Even though the Committee does not have jurisdiction over the RFS, we regularly focus on issues that are related to it. I stated in early 2011 that Congress should consider reforming the RFS, and again called for that to happen in a comprehensive energy policy blueprint that I released near the start of this year. I was also able to question a number of witnesses about the RFS' potential impacts during a hearing our Committee recently held on gasoline prices.
It is time to rethink the RFS as it currently exists. I believe that biofuels have a definite and ongoing place in our fuel supply, but we also face a range of RFS-related problems. I am working with my colleagues to reform the standard and ensure that those problems are resolved – instead of worsened in the years ahead.
Should the Senate consider legislation related to the RFS, I will keep your comments in mind.
Again, thank you for contacting me.
United States Senator