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RFA Calls on President to Reject Refinery Waivers

June 11, 2020

EPA, RFA News, RFS, SRE, White House


In an open letter to President Trump timed to today’s anniversary of his appearance at an Iowa ethanol plant, the Renewable Fuels Association called on him to reject attempts to grant the oil industry more waivers from renewable fuel obligations.


“One year ago today, you visited Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy in Council Bluffs to join us in celebrating a monumental achievement,” wrote RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “At your direction, EPA had just completed regulatory changes finally allowing year-round sales of gasoline containing 15% ethanol—called E15. But E15 growth would have been exponentially larger if not for your EPA continuing to excuse oil refiners from their legal obligations to blend renewable fuels. As we told you a year ago, EPA’s refinery waivers have caused devastating demand losses for ethanol and corn, and they undermine the expansion of E15.”


Cooper also described the impact of more recent crises, such as the Saudi-Russia oil price war that decimated fuel costs and the COVID-19 pandemic.


“Mr. President, we need your help,” he concluded. “We ask that you stand up for the Renewable Fuel Standard. Please direct your EPA to abide by the January court ruling and end the abuse of the refinery waiver loophole. You stood by us, farmers, and consumers when you directed EPA to allow year-round E15. Now, we humbly ask that you stand with us again and ensure ethanol demand is not eroded by illegal refinery waivers.”


Click here for the letter, which appeared as a full-page ad today in the Council Bluffs (Iowa) Daily Nonpareil.

On Wednesday, a guest essay by Mike Jerke, the CEO of the ethanol plant President Trump visited, appeared in the Des Moines Register. Click here for the essay, titled “A year after Trump visit to Iowa plant, ethanol industry faces unparalleled crises.”


Ken Colombini