IRFA to President Trump: Appealing 10th Circuit Decision Jeopardizes Commitment to RFS, Support in Rural America

Contact: Cassidy Walter

JOHNSTON, IOWA – Today several media sources are reporting that in response to the 10th Circuit Court decision from earlier this year – which unanimously found EPA abused their authority when granting Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) refinery exemptions – that the Trump Administration intends to join petroleum companies in an appeal of the decision.

In response to these reports, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw made the following statement:

“If not changed, this would go down as one of the worst decisions I’ve seen in 20 years of biofuels policy. When you have a unanimous panel decision, the full 10th Circuit only accepts about 1% of appeals for a rehearing and almost never overturns the original decision. So in return for literally no chance to change this straight-forward and common-sense decision, Trump is on the verge of outraging every farm and biofuel group in the country. We could have had a fairly uneventful year for RFS policy heading toward November, but this action would seriously threaten Trump’s reputation in rural states. If the stakes weren’t so important, it would almost be humorous to watch Sen. Cruz hoodwink the White House again.  He’s misled them on refinery profits, on the cost of RINs, on the reasons a Pennsylvania refinery was in economic trouble, and even on his own re-election chances. The president needs to have another talk with his team before he lets Ted Cruz burn him and his best allies across rural America.

“Further, if President Trump makes the mistake of joining the oil companies’ appeal, he sure better direct the EPA to hold off on adjudicating the pending 2019 refinery exemption requests while the legal action plays out. If they use a fruitless appeal as cover to grant a bunch of 2019 exemptions – essentially illegal exemptions that would reduce the effective RFS level below 15 billion gallons for 2019 – then it would be a clear violation of President Trump’s commitment that 15 billion gallons will be 15 billion gallons. Such a scheme would provoke an intense response in farm country that is still hurting from previous refinery exemptions, trades wars and now the global impacts of the coronavirus.”

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: