Approval of 2018 SREs Would Irreversibly Undermine the RFS
April 17, 2019
Contact: Cassidy Walter
JOHNSTON, IOWA – Today Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw emphasized that approval of small-refinery exemptions (SREs) for the 2018 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) blend levels would irreversibly undermine the RFS. Speaking alongside Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, Shaw made his remarks at a press conference at Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy, an ethanol plant near Council Bluffs.
To be granted an SRE, a refinery must demonstrate “disproportionate economic harm” in complying with the RFS. Shaw pointed out that in recent weeks refineries could have complied with their obligation by purchasing compliance credits, known as RINs, for as little as eight cents.
“Given the current circumstances, granting any of the 2018 small-refinery exemptions would fundamentally undermine the RFS and break President Trump’s promise to protect the 15-billion-gallon RFS,” Shaw said. “At a time when you can avoid blending a $1.30 gallon of ethanol by instead buying a RIN for eight cents – a price even Texas Senator Ted Cruz found acceptable – how can there be disproportionate economic harm?”
SREs granted under the Trump Administration have already accounted for over 2.5 billion gallons of RFS demand destruction.
“The bottom line is this: If you grant SREs under these circumstances with eight-cent RINs, then what the EPA is really saying is that they will always grant SREs and the hope of a true 15-billion-gallon RFS is dead,” he said. “That is not what Congress intended or President Trump promised.”
After noting that farm income, corn prices, and US ethanol use all dropped in 2018, Shaw concluded by noting there is still time to turn around the Trump Administration’s record for rural America.
“There are a handful of steps they could take that would provide an immediate boost for farmers,” Shaw said. “First up are the small-refinery exemption decisions. We’ll be looking closely at those decisions to see if President Trump is beginning to take positive steps for rural Iowans.”
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association represents the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry and works to foster its growth. Iowa is the nation’s leader in renewable fuels production with 43 ethanol refineries capable of producing over 4.5 billion gallons annually – including 34 million gallons of annual cellulosic ethanol production capacity – and 11 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 400 million gallons annually. For more information, visit the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association website at: www.IowaRFA.org.