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Biofuels Community Upset Over EPA’s Failed Implementation Of Agreed Upon RFS Details

Below are statements from various biofuels groups after the EPA didn’t implement the agreed upon rules for the RFS that were announced earlier this month by the White House:

EPA Continues to Undermine the Renewable Fuel Standard

Statement from ICGA President Jim Greif

Today, we are outraged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did not implement the details that were presented and outlined by the President only eleven days ago. Any proposal that does not account for actual waived gallons under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) fails to restore the integrity of the law. Last week President Trump promised to uphold the Congressional intent of the RFS by addressing the demand destruction brought on by expanded use of small refinery exemptions and prospectively account for those exemptions using a three-year rolling average of actual waived gallons, beginning with the 2020 biofuel standard. Today’s announcement falls well short of that mark, only accounting for the Department of Energy recommendations that the EPA itself ignored.

The Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) will continue to fight back on demand destruction with our biofuels champions and President Trump to ensure the final 2020 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) reflect the commitments made by the President to restore the integrity of the RFS to the benefit of farmers and consumers everywhere.

CONTACT:

Brandi Snyder, Public Relations Manager, [email protected], 515-225-9242

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 EPA Reneges on Trump’s Biofuels Deal 

The supplemental rule proposed by EPA fails to ensure RFS integrity

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.

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EPA Undercuts President’s Promise to Restore Lost Biodiesel Gallons through RFS

Statement Courtesy of ISA President and Rippey, IA soybean farmer Tim Bardole

Ankeny, IA – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has once again broken its promise to restore the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Today’s announcement backtracks on a pledge by President Trump to ensure future Renewable Volume Obligations would account for Small Refinery Exemptions (SRE) based on a three-year rolling average of past waivers. This previously agreed-upon proposal would provide certainty to a struggling biodiesel industry including refineries and farmers.

Rather than restoring biodiesel demand based on the actual lost gallons, the EPA says it will look at past recommendations from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The EPA consistently ignored DOE recommendations for years under the current administration.

Today’s announcement further erodes farmer confidence in the administration’s ability to bring closure to the all-important issue of biofuels and its place in America’s energy future. With today’s proposal, countless farm families and biodiesel producers will continue to face lost income and further job cuts. More facilities will close as a result of the continued inaction and the economic losses it creates.

The EPA must uphold the administration’s commitment to restore demand based on the actual three-year SRE average, beginning with the 2020 biofuel standard and years to follow. The already-waning vitality of America’s rural communities cannot afford to keep playing regulatory games with the EPA.

ISA will continue to engage our elected champions, Senators Grassley and Ernst, Governor Reynolds and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig to ensure a victory for Iowa’s soybean farmers.

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RFA Statement on EPA Supplemental
Proposal for 2020 RVO
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today issued a supplemental proposal regarding the 2020 Renewable Volume Obligation, seeking to ensure that the conventional renewable fuel standard is not eroded by small refinery exemptions. The following is a statement from Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper:
“If the Oct. 4 announcement from EPA was a big step forward, today’s supplemental proposal is a step backward. It falls short of delivering on President Trump’s pledge to restore integrity to the Renewable Fuel Standard and leaves farmers, ethanol producers, and consumers with more questions than answers. It is baffling to us that the proposal sets the three-year average of exempted volume using the very same DOE recommendations that EPA blatantly ignored over and over. We are concerned that the volume of actual exemptions granted in 2020 could very well exceed the amount of projected exemptions from DOE, putting us right back into the quagmire where the 15-billion-gallon requirement is eroded and undermined. Simply put, this proposal is not what was promised by the administration just over a week ago and fails to answer President Trump’s personal call for a stronger conventional biofuel requirement of more than 15 billion. It is our hope that President Trump will personally intervene again to get the RFS back on track and ensure his EPA honors the commitments that were made.”
Cooper pointed out that the Renewable Fuel Standard has specifically required 15 billion gallons of conventional renewable fuel each year since 2015. However, the massive increase in small refinery waivers means the actual volume enforced by EPA has fallen short of the requirement each year. After the exemptions, the conventional biofuel requirement for 2018, for example, was only 13.89 billion gallons. In their communications since the October 4 announcement, both President Trump and EPA Administration Andrew Wheeler have stressed their intention to ensure at least 15 billion gallons are actually blended domestically. It is unclear whether this proposal will actually ensure that volume is met.
Cooper said RFA will take every opportunity to ensure President Trump’s original deal is honored and will remain active and vocal during the public comment process.


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