The Renewable Fuels Association today thanked a bipartisan group of 24 U.S. senators, led by Sens. Tina Smith, Joni Ernst, Debbie Stabenow and Chuck Grassley, for sending a letter to President Trump that strongly urges him to uphold the Renewable Fuel Standard and reject oil industry efforts to waive renewable fuel blending obligations.
“We applaud these senators for fighting to protect the livelihood of American farmers and the 350,000 jobs supported by the U.S. ethanol industry,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “We join these leaders in asking the administration to stand up for the Renewable Fuel Standard, which has promoted energy diversity, strengthened the heartland’s economy, reduced emissions, and lowered consumer fuel costs for a decade and a half. These Senators recognize that recent waiver requests are nothing more than a shameless attempt by oil refiners to seize on a global public health crisis to advance their long-standing political agenda. Now is not the time to abandon this vital policy, especially when so many jobs are on the line in the midst of an unprecedented economic crisis. We are truly grateful that these senators understand that.”
Cooper noted that, as of Wednesday, roughly half of the ethanol industry’s production capacity remained offline, and nearly three-quarters of the nation’s ethanol plants were fully idled or had greatly reduced output rates.
“Ethanol plant closures don’t just affect our nation’s fuel supply; they also affect the supply of other critical products made by the industry, such as high-protein feed for livestock and poultry producers and captured carbon dioxide, which is an important product for food and beverage processing and other industries. Shutting down, or even slowing down, our diverse product line has significant ripple effects throughout the entire U.S. economy.”
In a letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler last month, RFA similarly pointed out that these RFS waiver requests are completely unjustified and do not satisfy statutory requirements.