U.S. Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin released the following statement today in response to EPA's notification that it would once again delay action on a waiver request to allow blending of up to 15% ethanol in gasoline.
Herseth Sandlin said, "I am disappointed that this decision has been postponed once again. This unacceptable delay prohibits much needed action on the road to advanced biofuels, energy independence and economic revitalization in rural America. South Dakota stands ready to both contribute to and benefit from a move to E15 and I am disappointed to see EPA has not kept its own timeline. We made a promise to keep our nation on track to meet the Renewable Fuel Standard, cut foreign oil imports, foster economic development in rural states, and help consumers at the pump. It's important to ensure that EPA commits to a timeline."
Approval of the waiver would create more than 136,000 new jobs in the U.S., reduce dependence on foreign oil by 7 billion gallons, reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 10.5 million cars from the road, and revitalize rural communities. Without action by EPA to approve E15 in the near future, our nation will not achieve the requirements for cellulosic biofuels set out in the Renewable Fuel Standard. In 2009 Herseth Sandlin led a bipartisan coalition of House members in urging EPA to allow blending up to E15, and to approve E12 on an interim basis. EPA has stated that they will delay their waiver decision on E15 until September and approving E12 on an interim basis is not an option they are considering until they have the scientific data for E15.