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“Biofuels are so important to not only me, but to my wonderful state, the great state of Iowa,” Ernst said. “I grew up on a farm in Southwest Iowa, and in our family we raised hogs and we had corn and soybeans. Through the years, biofuels have become such an important part of our fabric across the state of Iowa.”
Ernst also discussed the need to make sure this administration, and future administrations, understand how important renewable fuels are and what it means to the American farmer and our country. “We all know that biofuels have a much smaller carbon footprint than their fossil fuel counterparts. So that, in itself, is very important, especially for those that love clean energy. But it is an additional way to support American agriculture,” Ernst said.
While highlighting the role of the biofuel industry in providing consumers with clean, affordable choices at the pump, Ernst reiterated her opposition to Doug Benevento, the nominee to be the Deputy Administrator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and how she will continue to hold his nomination and any other EPA nominee until the agency discloses how they plan to address the 52 “gap year” waivers.
“Small refiners are trying to find any loopholes possible to make their way around the 10th circuit court decision,” Ernst said. “It would be devastating for our ethanol producers and those engaged in biofuels if those ‘gap year’ waivers were to be considered. I have spoken to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler about this very issue, and I’ve told him that these ‘gap year’ waivers need to go right into the garbage.”
Ernst also stressed the importance of investing in infrastructure so retailers can provide consumers with more choices at the pump. She urged EPA to expedite their process to certify underground tanks and other essential pieces of infrastructure to support higher blends of ethanol. “If consumers are to have that choice at the pump, then we need to make sure the infrastructure is available out there to them,” Ernst said. “As always, really pushing the EPA to make sure they are putting in place the proper regulatory guidance in order to push out those higher blends of ethanol.”
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