WASHINGTON — Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is urging farmers, biofuels industry workers and everyday Iowans to get on the EPA website and express support for upholding the renewable fuel standard, or RFS.
As the deadline for public comments approaches, Grassley says he and several other Midwestern senators are sending a letter to the president this week, outlining the importance of the RFS to the region’s economy.
“He’s long been a supporter of biofuels and made a commitment to Iowa and the surrounding biofuel-producing states,” Grassley says. “The EPA shouldn’t undercut President Trump’s support of the RFS.”
The head of the EPA recently announced plans to change the RFS, reversing the terms of the deal President Trump made to ensure the oil industry blends 15-billion gallons of ethanol and biodiesel into gasoline. The EPA claims the move would make up for waivers granted to small refineries over the past two years.
Grassley says, “I urge the EPA and its administrator, Mr. Wheeler, to adjust the proposed supplemental rule to account for actual waived gallons using hard data from past practice to send an unambiguous signal to the marketplace.”
Some 30 ethanol and biodiesel plants nationwide — including four in Iowa — have temporarily or permanently closed in recent weeks because of the uncertainty caused by the waivers.
Grassley says many farmers and those in the biofuels industry simply don’t trust the EPA to follow through on the president’s promise because of the agency’s ties to big oil.
“They really don’t believe that’s going to happen, 15-billion gallons,” Grassley says, “and that the EPA’s found a way of getting around it, and still at the same time saying they’re doing exactly what was agreed to between the president and those of us that were in the Oval Office.”
The deadline for public comments on the issue is November 29th at the EPA website.