By Anne Weismann
On June 1, the Environmental Protection Agency is scheduled to release its new plan for implementing the Renewable Fuel Standard. The RFS is a federal mandate dictating how many gallons of biofuel should be blended into our transportation fuel supply. It was intended to encourage production of gasoline alternatives, thereby reducing American dependence on foreign oil, and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. The RFS has been held up for months as a result of political wrangling. When the number finally comes out, the American people might find out just how much influence the oil industry has on the Obama administration.
Last year, it was reported that the Carlyle Group and Delta Airlines, both powerful corporations that own oil refineries, used their significant political influence to lobby the White House for a proposal that would dramatically weaken the RFS for 2014 and beyond. Through their allies in Congress, they pressured Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to convince the administration to reduce the amount of biofuel to be mixed into fuel. The EPA never released the RFS, which was due last September, probably because of all the controversy. Still, a new RFS has to come out sometime.