Ernst: Iowa’s Farmers and Biofuels Producers Have Been Heard

The Iowa Senator applauded President Trump for acting to ensure the RFS is upheld

RED OAK, Iowa—U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), chairman of the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy and member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement regarding the Trump Administration’s announcement on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS):

“This is great news for Iowa and rural America. President Trump is following through on his commitment to our nation’s hardworking farmers and biofuels producers.

“The RFS is essential to the livelihoods of folks across our state, which is why I’ve been fighting tirelessly on behalf of Iowa’s farmers and producers every step of the way and making Iowans’ voices heard throughout this process. Our message was clear: uphold the RFS—15 billion means 15 billion. 

“The president heard that message and has acted on it. The steps outlined today by the administration will help increase demand for our biofuels, provide certainty for farmers and producers for years to come, and ensure that EPA is implementing the RFS as it was written.” 

Background:

Senator Ernst has been a consistent and tireless advocate and fighter on behalf of Iowa’s biofuels industry. She has continued to advocate for the administration to uphold the RFS.

On Monday, Senator Ernst spoke directly by phone with President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, specifically on this topic and this announcement. This was one of many conversations Senator Ernst has had with President Trump and administration officials over the past several weeks to make sure Iowans’ voices are heard on this issue.

Senator Ernst is the lead sponsor of S.1840, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Integrity Act of 2019. The bipartisan legislation would ensure EPA properly accounts for exempted gallons in the annual renewable volume obligations (RVO) it sets each November.

Senator Ernst worked closely with the Trump Administration, specifically EPA, to remove the outdated restriction on the sale of E15 year-round. In May of this year, the EPA finalized a new rule lifting the ban, and the Senator joined President Trump in Council Bluffs, Iowa to celebrate the big win for Iowa farmers and producers.

The Senator has urged EPA to stop issuing so-called “hardship” waivers exempting obligated parties, to provide topline information about the waivers already issued, to disclose whether or not the agency redistributed the waived volume obligations among the non-exempted obligated parties, and to outline the agency’s plan to make the waiver process more transparent.

For two years in a row, Growth Energy, who is a leading biofuels trade association in the country, have presented Senator Ernst with the “Fueling Growth Award,” for her work to get E15 sold year-round and her constant efforts to advance, support, and defend renewable fuels and the RFS as a whole.

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