WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has long called on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to uphold the 10th Circuit Court decision on small refinery exemptions (SREs). Today, EPA announced their intent to support the 10th Circuit decision and the appeal of that case currently before the Supreme Court.

“Unlawfully-granted small refinery exemptions have caused over 4 billion gallons of demand destruction for ethanol and biodiesel and caused numerous biofuel plants across the heartland to shut down—depressing commodity values in an already uncertain time for Iowa farmers and producers. The 10th Circuit decision rightly ruled that EPA abused the SRE program and illegally granted these waivers.

“For months on end, Iowa’s biofuel community and Senator Grassley and I have been calling on EPA to see the 10th Circuit decision as the law of the land, and finally, they’ve listened. This is a step to provide much-needed certainty to ethanol and biodiesel producers. While this is certainly a win, we will not take our foot off the gas in holding the new administration accountable to uphold the entire Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and ensure transparency in the exemptions process going forward,” Senator Ernst said.                                                                

A trip down memory lane:

  • January 29, 2020: Ernst: The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling confirms what we’ve been saying all along, that @EPA hasn’t been upholding the law when it comes to the #RFS. As so many Iowans have already said, this is welcome news for folks in our state.
  • February 10, 2020: Ernst: It shouldn’t have taken a 10th circuit court decision for @EPAAWheeler to finally see the truth: @EPA can’t pass out small refinery waivers like candy. These exemptions are only for SMALL refineries with TRUE economic hardship.
  • February 27, 2020: Ernst: Bottom line: the administration needs to apply the 10th Circuit decision nationwide; I’m urging them to do just that.
  • March 10, 2020: Ernst: I spoke with POTUS [President Trump] twice last weekend to urge @EPA to apply the 10th Circuit decision nationwide. I will always fight for #Iowa biofuels & hold the admin’s feet to the fire to follow the law & uphold the RFS.
  • March 12, 2020: Ernst: What did one of @EPA’s nominees have to say about the 10th Circuit decision being the law of the land?
  • March 25, 2020: Ernst: Sounds like  @EPA listened this time. Not appealing the 10th Circuit decision is the right call. But @EPAAWheeler now needs to apply this decision nationwide. I’ll keep fighting to ensure EPA follows THIS law & upholds the RFS. #Iowa’s biofuels community needs this.
  • April 7, 2020: Ernst: A bit of good news for #Iowa’s farmers & producers in these challenging days. Enough of the back & forth: the 10th Circuit decision is the law of the land & @EPA should apply this decision nationwide & finally provide certainty to our biofuels industry.
  • June 18, 2020: Ernst: These 52 “new” refinery petitions should be dismissed immediately. @EPAAWheeler: apply the 10th Circuit decision nationwide and uphold the spirit and letter of the #RFS—the law.
  • June 25, 2020: Ernst: The “new” petitions for SREs are inconsistent w/: the 10th Circuit decision; Congressional intent; @EPA’s own guidance; the interests of Iowa's farmers & rural communities who rely on the biofuel industry I led a letter calling on @EPAAWheeler to reject these waivers.
  • June 29, 2020: Ernst: #ICYMI, I led a bipartisan letter calling on @EPA to reject the 52 “new” gap waivers. They are inconsistent with the 10th Circuit decision, Congressional intent, and EPA’s own guidance.
  • August 4, 2020: Ernst: Like I’ve said before, these “gap year” waivers need to be thrown in the garbage and the 10th circuit decision applied nationwide.
  • August 4, 2020: Ernst: The "gap year" waivers threaten to undercut the #RFS and fail to meet the standard set by the 10th Circuit decision on the use of SREs. @ENERGY wasted time and resources to score the waivers again. @ChuckGrassley and I are demanding more transparency of this process.
  • September 8, 2020: Ernst: The admin has signaled it will not appeal the 10th Circuit decision to SCOTUS. This is something I’ve long called for and is good for Iowa farmers. Now, let’s apply this decision nationwide and throw out these “gap year” waivers.
  • October 16, 2020: Ernst: Here they go again... As I’ve been saying, the 10th circuit decision needs to be applied nationwide—starting now with the 2019 petitions.
  • January 23, 2021: Ernst: Iowans are demanding the new administration uphold the #RFS [including the 10th Circuit decision] and finalize the new proposed rule to grant more access to #E15, and you better believe I’ll continue holding @EPA’s feet to the fire to do that.