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Ernst, Grassley, Feenstra Call On Biden to Support Iowa’s Production of Homegrown Biofuels

WASHINGTON – Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) joined Representative Randy Feenstra (R-Iowa) in a letter to President Biden and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan, urging the administration to amend its harmful decision to set the Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) levels well below industry production capacity and instead increase RVO levels for homegrown Iowa biofuels.

“Completely ignoring my warnings early last year, Biden’s EPA has once again missed the mark on doing right by our farmers, environment, and biofuel producers,” said Senator Ernst. “By implementing drastically low RVO levels, this administration has gone out of its way to destroy jobs and damage rural economies. One plant closure in Iowa is one too many. President Biden and EPA Administrator Regan must act now to increase RVO levels, which will support homegrown energy and lower gas prices for families already hurting in Biden’s economy.”

“Iowa businesses and families have suffered the consequences of the Biden EPA’s uninformed decision to lower RVO levels. The Biden administration is restricting biofuel producers, making it difficult for plants to keep their doors open and stifling opportunities for biodiesel at the expense of rural economies and broader environmental benefits,” said Senator Grassley. “The EPA ought to straighten out this mess it created. Iowans are ready to help fuel the nation, if only the bureaucracy would get out of the way.”

“Homegrown Iowa biofuels support our farmers, lower gas prices for our families, and strengthen American energy security. Representing the top biofuel-producing district in the country, it is my mission to ensure that the Biden administration understands the growth potential of Iowa biofuels, the importance of biofuels to our rural economy, and the need to support our farmers and the production of biofuels,” said Representative Feenstra. “Unfortunately, due in part to the EPA’s decision to set RVO levels far lower than market capacity, biodiesel plants in Ralston, Iowa and Madison, Wisconsin were forced to close – eliminating jobs and harming the local economy. We must ensure that these closures do not replicate across Iowa and the Midwest because these misguided steps by the Biden administration have real-world consequences for our economy and rural communities. That’s why – alongside Senator Grassley and Senator Ernst – I’m calling on President Biden and EPA Administrator Regan to increase RVO levels according to the actual production potential of our biofuels producers. Securing American energy independence begins with supporting Iowa’s homegrown energy production.”

Read the letter here.


Last year, before the EPA implemented the finalized blending volumes for 2023 through 2025, Ernst urged the agency to increase the proposed RVOs for advanced biofuels and biomass-based diesel fuels. Instead of listening to Ernst’s warnings, the EPA finalized blending volumes that failed to accurately reflect market conditions and future production capacity coming online. As a direct result, two biomass-based diesel plants have now closed, including one in Ralston, Iowa.

Ernst has consistently worked across the aisle to support and promote biofuels, Iowa farmers and producers, and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Learn more here.