Grover Norquist’s group launches campaign to end the RFS

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, September 30, 2013

A group formed by anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist this week launched a campaign to end the renewable fuel standard, the federal mandate that compels refiners to blend increasing levels of conventional ethanol and advanced biofuel into motor fuel.

In a new website,, Americans for Tax Reform is urging people to write letters to their lawmakers seeking repeal of the 5-year-old standard. On the site, the group says the RFS is forcing Americans to use a fuel that is unsafe for car engines and costs more than gasoline.

“Tell Congress it is time to stop special interests subsidies that require drivers to purchase a less efficient fuel that could damage your cars,” the website says.

In a separate blog post Wednesday, Americans for Tax Reform called the renewable fuel standard a “joke” and said it also increased greenhouse gas emissions.

Norquist’s group famously jumped into the fray over ethanol two years ago when he opposed a 45-cent-a-gallon tax credit for ethanol producers but was critical of a Republican plan to eliminate it because he said it would lead to tax increases elsewhere (E&E Daily, March 30, 2011). The tax credit was ultimately allowed to expire at the end of the year.

Biofuels supporters did not oppose the tax credit’s expiration but say the renewable fuel standard continues to have positive environmental benefits and contribute to national security by decreasing imports of oil from abroad. They say it’s helped break a monopoly the oil industry has had on transportation fuel and point to studies that have found that ethanol use has decreased the price of gasoline by more than $1 a gallon in some cases.