The Renewable Fuels Association today thanked 44 members of the House of Representatives for urging President Trump to “stand with our farmers and rural economies during this challenging time and deny any request for blanket statewide or nationwide waivers from the 2020 RFS blending requirements under the Clean Air Act.”
In their letter to President Trump, the diverse coalition of House biofuels supporters underscored that RFS waiver requests recently received by EPA must be rejected because they do not satisfy the rigorous statutory conditions required for a waiver.
“RFA is grateful to this bipartisan group of leaders in the House for standing with consumers, farmers and ethanol producers to uphold the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “While refiners are appealing to governors in a callous effort to evade the RFS under the guise of COVID-19 relief, the law requires—and EPA has previously concluded—that waivers can only be granted when any potential hardship is being caused by the RFS, not any other factor. However, in this case, the governors correctly state the harm is caused by plummeting oil prices attributable to an international oil glut and falling demand caused by COVID-19. Those factors are also hurting ethanol. In fact, half of the nation’s ethanol production capacity was shut down over the past several months.
“The rural communities that depend on a thriving renewable fuels industry are fortunate to have such dedicated supporters in Congress protecting the RFS from endless attacks,” Cooper concluded. “These lawmakers understand that caving into the whims of the oil industry and waiving the RFS would not only be illegal, but it would also have devastating impacts on working families and small businesses already reeling from the effects of this terrible pandemic.”
Last month, a bipartisan group of 24 U.S. senators sent a similar letter to President Trump, likewise urging him to uphold the Renewable Fuel Standard and reject oil industry efforts to waive renewable fuel blending obligations.