U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, made the following statement regarding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) decision to postpone setting the final 2014 volume mandates for renewable fuel standard (RFS) until next year.

"EPA's decision to delay setting the RFS - already one year behind schedule - shows how even they recognize the flaws in this broken program that has become a liability to both ethanol producers and refiners," said Vitter. "The Administration needs to quit slapping unrealistic mandates on everything and start doing what's right for our slumping economy."

Under the RFS four separate standards must be satisfied: Advanced biofuel, cellulosic biofuel, biomass based diesel, and total renewable fuel, meaning corn based ethanol. For 2013, EPA mandated the use of approximately 13.8 billion gallons of corn based ethanol. That figure was set to increase under the RFS statutory requirements to 14.4 billion gallons in 2014. For 2014, the overall renewable fuel volume was going to increase to 18.15 billion gallons including 3.75 billion for advanced biofuels. At 10 percent of gasoline demand the blendwall occurs at about 13 billion gallons even as the ethanol mandate rises from 13.8 to 14.4 for 2014.

Previous attempts by the EPA to address various problems created by the RFS have failed, including E15, which was approved for use through partial waivers, then found to damage vehicles, boats, motorcycles, and small engines, including lawnmowers.

Vitter has been closely watching the Administration's announcements and decisions on the annual volume mandates, and has asked the Administration to waive the 2014 volumes to remain below the 10 percent ethanol "blendwall" while Congress examines long-term policy solutions for the outdated and increasingly burdensome RFS. Click here to read more.