WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), chairman of the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Energy and Rural Development and a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, issued the following statement with regard to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule under the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) program that would set the minimum amount of renewable fuels that must be supplied to the market in 2020 as well as the biomass-based diesel volume standard for 2021.

"While I’m glad to see the proposed rule is on track to meet the renewable volume obligations deadline, it simply does not account for the billions of gallons of ethanol our hardworking producers have lost to EPA’s unrelenting habit of handing out ‘so-called’ small refinery exemptions. Iowa farmers and producers depend on transparency from EPA which is why I continue to fight to shed light on what’s going on behind closed doors to ensure more predictably and accountability for Iowans,” said Senator Joni Ernst.

Background:

In this proposed rule, conventional renewable fuel volumes would be maintained at the implied 15-billion gallon target. EPA is proposing an advanced biofuel volume requirement for 2020 of 5.04 billion gallons, which is 0.12 billion gallons higher than the advanced biofuel volume requirement for 2019. The cellulosic biofuel volume requirement of 0.54 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons for 2020 is based on EPA production projection which is 0.12 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons higher than the cellulosic biofuel volume finalized for 2019. EPA is also proposing to maintain the biomass-based diesel (BBD) volume for 2021 at 2.43 billion gallons.

Senator Ernst is pushing bipartisan legislation—the RFS Integrity Actthat will bring greater transparency and predictability to EPA’s small refinery exemption process. The legislation will ensure EPA properly accounts for exempted gallons in the annual renewable volume obligations (RVO) it sets each November. 

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