Sources Expect RFS Reform, Repeal Amendments to Energy Bill

Source: By Rachel Gantz, OPIS • Posted: Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The energy bill from Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) does not include any biofuel-related measures — since that’s the jurisdiction of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee — but does include a number of provisions, including accelerating natural gas exports. The committee passed the bill in July 2015.

As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters earlier this week, the energy bill will “be open for amendment, and since it came out of committee 18-4, I hope we’ll be able to replicate what we did on frequent occasions last year with the rewrite of No Child Left Behind, the highway bill and other matters,” he said.

“This broad energy bill is the result of a truly bipartisan process and it shows…. I look forward to debating that bipartisan energy bill next week,”
McConnell said on the Senate floor Thursday.

While no amendments have been filed as of yet, sources expect those that would affect the RFS. Specifically, sources say it’s likely that Sens. Pat Toomey (R-
Pa.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) would file an amendment that would repeal the corn ethanol portion of the RFS. It would mirror stand-alone legislation they introduced in February 2015. Toomey tried unsuccessfully to attach a similar amendment to a crude exports bill in October 2015.

RFS-related amendments are also possible from other lawmakers, sources said, and may include full RFS repeal.