EPA Reneges on Trump’s Biofuels Deal
October 15, 2019
The supplemental rule proposed by EPA fails to ensure RFS integrity
Contact: Cassidy Walter
JOHNSTON, IOWA – Today, following up on the recently announced Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) ‘deal,’ EPA released the draft rule intended to fulfill President Trump’s commitment to ensure RFS blend levels are met by reallocating gallons waived by small refinery exemptions (SREs) back into the RFS. While President Donald Trump’s biofuels deal would have ensured that a 15-billion-gallon RFS truly meant 15 billion gallons blended, today’s proposal fails to live up to President Trump’s promise to biofuels producers.
Prior to supporting President Trump’s October 4th deal, biofuels producers and farmers were briefed by the White House and EPA that EPA would account for SREs using a three-year rolling average of actual refinery exemptions granted. Today’s draft rule proposes using a three-year rolling average of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recommendations for SREs, which EPA has routinely ignored and is under no legal obligation to follow.
In response to this proposal, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Executive Director Monte Shaw made the following statement:
“IRFA members continue to stand by President Trump’s strong biofuels deal announced on Oct. 4, which was worked out with our elected champions and provided the necessary certainty that 15 billion gallons would mean 15 billion gallons, even after accounting for SREs. Unfortunately, only 11 days after President Trump’s landmark announcement, the EPA proposal reneges on the core principal of the deal.
“Instead of standing by President Trump’s transparent and accountable deal, EPA is proposing to use heretofore secret DOE recommendations that EPA doesn’t have to follow. That means there is no guarantee that RFS exemptions will be accounted for in the RFS.
“Instead, the proposal today essentially asks Iowa farmers and biofuels producers to trust that EPA will do the right thing on SREs in 2021 when they have spent the last two years weaponizing SREs to unfairly undermine the RFS. It is unreasonable and counterproductive to expect Iowans to put their faith in EPA to fix the SRE problem when they were the ones who created the crisis in the first place.
“As this proposal goes against the core of President Trump’s deal that we continue to support, we will work with our elected champions and the President to get the deal he proposed, and we all celebrated, back on track. There must be certainty that 15 billion gallons will mean 15 billion gallons to restore integrity to the RFS.”
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.