Rubio gets it wrong on RFS

Source: By CATHERINE BOUDREAU, Politico • Posted: Monday, February 29, 2016

RUBIO GETS IT WRONG ON RFS: Sen. Marco Rubio falsely claimed during the GOP presidential debate last night that the Renewable Fuel Standard “is phasing out now.” The Florida Republican said: “Ethanol will phase out. … By 2022 that program expires by virtue of the existing law, and by that point it will go away.” Nope. The law, which requires refiners to mix certain amounts of ethanol and other biofuels into gasoline, continues indefinitely. Come 2022, the annual targets that Congress set in law will end and the EPA is given greater discretion to set the annual mandates.

Sen. Ted Cruz also stretched the truth during the debate, using Rubio’s pledge to repeal an Obama administration immigration order to attack his stance on the RFS. The Texas Republican said, “When I campaigned in Iowa … and said, ‘We should have no ethanol subsidies,’ Marco’s position was the same as it is towards illegal amnesty: ‘Well, some day it should end, just not now.’ And frankly, I think we need a president who knows what he believes and is willing to say it on Day One, not at the end of his term when it’s somebody else’s problem.” Cruz mischaracterized his position. While he once advocated for immediate repeal of the RFS, more recently he has pushed legislation that would phase it out over five years. Cruz has said such a bill could pass in his first year in office, meaning the phase-out would conclude in 2022.