Times Record: Womack: Renewable Fuels Act Needs Reform

August 15, 2013

John Lovett, August 13 – The use of ethanol in gasoline, a Renewable Fuel Standard program that has been under fire for food crop diversion and engine wear since Congress approved it in 2005, does not hold water with one Arkansas congressman.

In Fort Smith on Tuesday for a private lunch at First National Bank, Rep. Steve Womack, R-Rogers, said he is working to revise the Environmental Protection Agency measure with a coalition of Democrats and Republicans.

“We’d like to see an outright repeal, but I know how hard that would be to do,” Womack said of the program. “Our bill will at least remove corn from the mix. It’s an ongoing effort but up against competing issues like immigration and tax reform to health care.”

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif., and Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., sent a letter Aug. 1 urging the Committee on Energy and Commerce to consider H.R. 1462, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Reform Act. They say that while renewable fuels have a place in America’s energy policy, “these fuels should compete fairly in the marketplace, free from the distortion and government interference that the current ethanol mandate forces.”

The legislation has already gained support from at least 40 organizations and 43 bipartisan members of the House of Representatives who call the RFS something that was created “with good intentions” but has become a “broken policy.”