Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue had the opportunity to give his opinion about the EPA granting numerous Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) waivers to refiners during a Senate Agricultural Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Wednesday.
While the purpose of the hearing was to review USDA’s FY2019 budget request, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) brought up the RFS waiver issue and pointed out that he and several other farm state senators sent a letter this week to the president asking that EPA cease granting waivers. Sec. Perdue said he agrees.
“As you know, we have a statutory volume of 15 billion gallons, and those waivers reduce that gallon for gallon,” said Perdue. “That is demand destruction.”
The secretary says USDA has requested information from EPA about the waivers granted and “the administrator has promised to have that as soon as they can gather that information.”
Listen here: Blunt/Perdue - RFS waivers
Industry organizations were pleased to hear Sec. Perdue’s words and thanked him for his support. “President Trump and EPA Administrator Pruitt would be wise to listen to Secretary Perdue because he’s right about the fact that EPA’s so-called “hardship” waivers to wealthy refiners destruct demand for ethanol and break the president’s promise to maintain the RFS,” said American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings. “Secretary Perdue is demonstrating the kind of leadership rural America expects from the administration so we express our sincere thanks for speaking out and standing up.”
Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) CEO Bob Dinneen (@ethanolBob) tweeted his thanks to Sec. Perdue. “Thank you, @SecretarySonny for fighting for value added agriculture and farmers by strongly advocating for a 15 billion gallon #RFS. @EPAScottPruitt needs to stop the demand destruction and work with you to assure the year round use of E15. #RFSWorks”