Throughout the 2016 election, we’ve heard candidates repeat over and over that they’re in favor of “phasing out” the Renewable Fuel Standard by 2022, when it “expires.” We’ve seen candidates adopt this 2022 “phase out” line as a sort of safe zone, believing this carefully staked position of phasing the program out when it’s “already set to expire” will keep the peace with Big Corn bullies without completely contradicting conservative values.
However, candidates who think the RFS has a concrete end date in 2022 are just plain WRONG.
2022 is not the year the RFS ends – it’s the year the failed policy falls under the full control of the Environmental Protection Agency. For real.
Those with conservative, small government beliefs may need to catch their breath on that one, because candidates who expect the RFS to “die a natural death in 2022,” are de facto supporting more big government control.
Candidates make this mistake about 2022 because it’s the year the minimum ethanol blending requirements mandated by Congress in the original bill end. But the program doesn’t stop just because the Congressional blend tables run out. The law says clearly that’s the point where EPA gets to take over.
Even Janet McCabe, Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation at the EPA, recognized at a recent Congressional hearing that the EPA will be in full control of the policy once Congress’s volume requirements are no longer listed.
Despite statements from the EPA, and fact checks from the Washington Post and Politico, candidates are not understanding the fate of one of the most broken policies in America. But they need to. Because without intervention from Congress and approval from the President, the RFS and its legacy of damage will go on FOREVER.
Plain and simple – the RFS does not “expire” in 2022, it moves into an even less accountable realm. It’s time for candidates to get the facts straight on the RFS, and call to reform the policy since it’s not working and is hurting people across the country.