Iowa Reps Call on Administration to Uphold Integrity of RFS
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer (IA-01), Congressman Dave Loebsack (IA-02), and Congresswoman Cindy Axne (IA-03) sent a letter to Russell Vought, the Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), as well as Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler and President Trump, about the EPA’s October supplemental proposed rule regarding the reallocation of Small Refinery Exemptions (SRE) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). On Friday, December 6, 2019 the EPA sent their proposed rule to OMB for final review. The Members of Congress expressed serious concerns that the rule as drafted fails to keep the RFS whole, and called on Vought to ensure that the final rule upholds the Administration’s guarantee of blending 15-billion gallons of conventional ethanol on an annual basis, as is mandated by law.
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“As we travel through our districts in Iowa, we hear first-hand from farmers, renewable fuel producers, and rural communities about the harm caused by the explosion of small refinery exemption (SRE) applications that EPA has approved in recent years. These conditions have caused three ethanol facilities to close permanently and another fourteen to idle, affecting nearly 3,000 jobs and hundreds of millions of corn bushels on an annual basis,” the Members wrote. “The RFS promises our rural economies that 15-billion gallons of conventional ethanol and increasing volumes of advanced biofuels such as biodiesel will be blended into the nation’s transportation fuel supply. Without a binding commitment that EPA will account for exemptions granted by EPA, this rule fails to keep the RFS whole.”
The Members concluded, “The Office of Management and Budget must ensure that the final rule upholds the integrity of the RFS, avoids further plant closures, and provides farmers and producers certainty going forward.”