WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, sent a letter to President Donald J. Trump expressing her concern over the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) move to potentially set biodiesel volumes in the RFS for 2018 and 2019 at substantially lower volumes, which could in turn, hurt Iowa farmers, manufacturers, and rural communities.

In the letter to the president, Senator Ernst noted his “relentless backing” of the RFS, but stated her displeasure “to see your Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) put forward a Notice of Data Availability related to biodiesel volumes in the RFS for 2018 that have already been finalized, along with proposed volumes for 2019. While the document technically ‘provides the public notice and an opportunity to comment,’ in reality it serves to make the case for substantially lowering the volumes for U.S. produced biodiesel, just as domestic producers are making investments to bring unused capacity back online.”

Senator Ernst has consistently called for maintaining and protecting the current RFS standard, and has stressed the importance of the RFS to EPA Administrator nominee Scott Pruitt several times. Senator Ernst emphasized to the President today that it is her “hope that your EPA has not forgotten about the pledges that were made to my constituents and to farmers across the country. And it is my hope that your support of American jobs and made in America energy has not wavered.”

The full text of Senator Ernst’s letter to President Trump can be found below or by clicking here.

The Honorable Donald J. Trump

President of the United States

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, D.C. 20500

 

Dear President Trump:

 

As you know, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is critical to our farmers, and is an important part of our national energy security. Ethanol and biodiesel provide jobs across rural America, along with clean, renewable energy that is made in the U.S.A.

Your relentless backing of this energy policy has been very much appreciated. However, I was surprised yesterday to see your Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) put forward a Notice of Data Availability related to biodiesel volumes in the RFS for 2018 that have already been finalized, along with proposed volumes for 2019. While the document technically “provides the public notice and an opportunity to comment,” in reality it serves to make the case for substantially lowering the volumes for U.S. produced biodiesel, just as domestic producers are making investments to bring unused capacity back online. Needless to say, this is bad for American farmers, American manufacturing and American rural communities, and would appear to be at odds with your commitment to grow American renewable fuels.

It is my hope that this “opportunity to comment” is that and only that. It is also my hope that your EPA has not forgotten about the pledges that were made to my constituents and to farmers across the country. And it is my hope that your support of American jobs and made in America energy has not wavered.

Sincerely,

 

 

Joni K. Ernst

United States Senator