On March 8, 2018, Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and Representative Peter Welch (D-VT) introduced companion legislation (S. 2519, H.R. 5212) in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, respectively, to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The Growing Renewable Energy through Existing and New Environmentally Responsible (GREENER) Fuels Act aims to:
- Phase out the corn ethanol mandate and immediately reduce the amount of ethanol in fuel by as much as one billion gallons by capping the amount of ethanol that can be blended into conventional gasoline at 9.7 percent;
- Help farmers return cornfields to pasture and wildlife habitat through a ten cents per renewable identification number (RIN) fee to fund a new private land protection and restoration fund in the U.S. Treasury; and
- Extend the cellulosic next generation biofuel mandate until two billion gallons of annual production is achieved or 2037, whichever is soonest, and improve the way the mandate is implemented to produce liquid transportation fuels that dramatically reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
According to Representative Welch, the “legislation reforms the mandate to dramatically reduce its environmental impact and to support the continued growth of advanced biofuels.”