The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) is urging its members to send comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about concerns over the agency’s proposal for biofuel volumes in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
The IFBF is urging the EPA to rework its current proposal for calculating the renewable fuel volumes in the RFS. “The EPA’s recently released proposal fails to restore the integrity of the RFS as guaranteed by law and falls significantly short of the promise made to farmers by President Trump,” IFBF said.
The EPA’s proposal would break promises made by President Donald Trump to protect biofuels, Daniel Heady, IFBF national policy advisor said recently at an EPA hearing on the proposal.
The proposal allows continued abuse of refinery waivers, called small refinery exemptions or SREs, which allow refineries to avoid commitments to blend biofuels, Heady said. The waivers have significantly cut biofuel demand and have forced biofuel plants in Iowa and other states to cut production or close.
Iowa lawmakers have also strongly criticized EPA’s biofuel volume proposal in comments they made to the agency last week.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds implored the EPA to consider the real-world ramifications of its decisions on the RFS.
“These rules have a real and tangible impact on the people of Iowa and across the country. Rural communities in Iowa, like Crawfordsville, Emmetsburg, Merrill and Sioux Center, are especially feeling the effects first-hand,” she said. “These communities have had to endure the shuttering of biofuels facilities, a detrimental blow that is a direct result of the EPA’s actions.”
Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley noted that President Trump made a commitment to Iowa and other biofuels producing states to protect the RFS. “The EPA shouldn’t undercut President Trump’s support of the RFS,” he said. “I urge EPA to adjust the proposed supplemental rule to account for actual waived gallons using hard data from past practice to provide certainty to the marketplace.”
Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst added that if biofuel producers do not trust EPA to implement the proposal President Trump negotiated, the market will not make investments in biofuels. That will lead to more plants closed and jobs lost, she said.
“It is time again for the EPA to get this policy right, respect the president’s intent, and uphold the law as it was written,” Ernst said. “This means providing certainty that they will ensure that 15 billion gallons of ethanol will be blended each year.”
The EPA is accepting comments on their proposal through Nov. 29. Please go to the IFBF’s comment site at https://bit.ly/32sl0Ur for information on how to make comments to the EPA.