WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to concerns U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) previously outlined, including in a meeting earlier this week, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Pruitt sent a letter to her and fellow colleagues, giving her key commitments that he will support the spirit and the letter of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Ernst, a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), released the following statement:

“Over the last few weeks, I had serious concerns about the EPA following the spirit and the letter of the RFS, which I made clear to my committee colleagues, the EPA, and the White House. Tonight, I’m pleased to see these commitments from EPA Administrator Pruitt to uphold the RFS as intended by Congress.

“Specifically, the Administrator committed to finalizing the Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) rule on time, and at levels equal to or greater than the levels in the proposed rule. He also made a commitment to work with Congress on a Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) fix, so consumers nationwide can have access to E-15 and higher blends of ethanol year-round. I look forward to the EPA issuing their definitive legal analysis on whether or not they have the authority to issue this waiver so they can address it or turn to Congress for a statutory fix.

“The Administrator has also made assurances that the EPA will not consider granting compliance credits to ethanol exports; doing so would go against the spirit of the program and invoke the ire of our trading partners.

“In addition, the Administrator has recognized the overwhelming opposition to moving the point of obligation, and is keeping it where it is to ensure stability in the marketplace. 

“These assurances are a clear win for Iowans. Echoing the President’s commitment to advancing the full potential of the RFS to benefit rural America is welcome at a time when our family farms are struggling with commodity prices that are below the cost of production. I am appreciative of Administrator Pruitt’s pledges to rural America, and I will continue to work collaboratively with the EPA going forward on this and other issues that help our farmers, manufacturers, land owners, businesses and communities.”

View the letter to Senator Ernst and her colleagues here.