WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) are celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) becoming law as they continue to push the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to follow through on its commitment to uphold the RFS for Iowa’s farmers and biofuel producers.
“As the top ethanol and biodiesel producing state, biofuels are a vital part of Iowa’s economy,” said Senator Ernst, a tireless advocate for Iowa’s renewable fuel producers. “The RFS – signed into law 15 years ago – is key to growing the biofuel industry, advancing innovation in our renewable fuel sector, and providing consumers with access to cleaner, more affordable choices at the pump. Iowa farmers and biofuel producers know that I will never stop fighting to uphold the RFS and defend their way of life.”
“I’ve been a longtime supporter of renewable energy and was glad to support the authorization of the Renewable Fuel Standard 15 years ago when the oil industry approached the renewable fuels industry looking for a replacement for the cancer-causing substance they had been using,” Senator Chuck Grassley said. “Over the years, I’ve continued to fight for our ethanol and biofuels producers both in Iowa and across the country. We’ve come a long way but there’s always more work to be done. I look forward to continuing to promote clean, home-grown energy and work toward greater American energy independence.”
“The RFS hasn’t just lived up to its ambitious expectations—it has far exceeded them. In addition to decreasing reliance on imported petroleum, the RFS has reduced emissions of harmful tailpipe pollutants and greenhouse gases, lowered consumer fuel prices, supported hundreds of thousands of jobs in rural America, and boosted the agricultural economy by adding value to the crops produced by our nation’s farmers. And far from “distorting the free market” as RFS opponents often claim, the policy has been remarkably effective in stimulating market competition and giving consumers more choices. These successes simply would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of Senators Grassley and Ernst to protect and defend the RFS from relentless attacks,” Geoff Cooper, President and CEO RFA said.
“The Renewable Fuel Standard has stood the test of time as America’s single most successful clean energy policy, driving down emissions, increasing competition at the pump, and expanding economic opportunity across rural communities,” Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy said. “Thanks to the steadfast leadership of champions like Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley, America now leads the world in the production and export of low-carbon biofuels, and that progress is just the beginning. With their support, we will repel regulatory attacks on the RFS and harness the power of homegrown energy to fuel the future.”
Senator Ernst has been working tenaciously to promote the RFS for Iowa’s ethanol and biodiesel producers and has continued to press
the EPA on how they plan to address the small refinery “gap year” waivers.
Earlier this week, Senator Ernst voted against
the nominee for Deputy Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes, and, along with Senator Grassley, continued to push
for greater transparency and certainty for Iowa’s farmers and producers, asking the Department of Energy (DOE) to provide the public with information on DOE's score of each petition and when the score recommendation was transmitted back to the EPA.
Last week, Senator Ernst called on
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to certify biofuel infrastructure for E15 and remove unnecessary labeling which will increase consumer access to E15. In May, Ernst led a bipartisan effort
urging the Trump Administration to uphold the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and reject requests for the RFS to be waived.
Ernst also called for
the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide additional funds to the biofuels industry through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), which was bolstered by the bipartisan Phase 3 relief package she helped passed.