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Final RFS Rule Soon

DANIEL LOOKER Updated: 07/25/2014 @ 10:54am Business Editor

Senator Al Franken (D-MN) told reporters Thursday after meeting with an adviser to President Barack Obama that a final rule on blending volumes for ethanol and biodiesel will be out soon.

Franken and a group of eight other Democratic senators from biodiesel-producing states met with White House senior adviser John Podesta Thursday afternoon to express their concern that the EPA's proposal last November to limit the blending requirement to 1.28 billion gallons of biodiesel would harm an industry that was able to produce 1.8 billion gallons last year.

"We were all making the case that the preliminary RFS (Renewable Fuel Standard) put out by the EPA is just unacceptable," Franken said afterward.

Higher levels of biodiesel could easily be blended into petroleum-based diesel, Franken contends, since there is no "blend wall" restricting its use. And the inability to blend more than 10% ethanol into gasoline, the so-called blend wall, is also "a made-up thing by the oil companies," he said.

Franken said oil companies were preventing gas stations from installing pumps to dispense levels of ethanol above 10%, either E15 or E85.

Although the main reason for the meeting was to discuss biodiesel, ethanol also came up. Franken said the meeting left him with the impression that the final EPA rule for blending this year will have higher RFS levels than proposed last November, and that it will apply to both biodiesel and ethanol, although the levels may not be as high as the group of senators wanted.

"We have been led to believe these will be higher numbers," he said.

And, he was told that the release of the final RFS rule is imminent.

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