A bipartisan list of Congressional representatives sent a letter to President Trump today in support of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
“We urge you to stand with our farmers and rural economies during this challenging time and deny any request for blanket statewide or nationwide waivers from the 2020 RFS blending requirements under the Clean Air Act,” the letter from 44 representatives stated, in response to governors asking the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to grant waivers from the RFS. “In addition to the economic harm waiving the RFS would cause rural America, these requests are unjustified and run contrary to the EPA’s well-established precedents.”
The letter was spearheaded by Reps. Abby Finkenauer (D-IA), Dave Loebsack (D-IA), Roger Marshall, MD (R-KS), Collin Peterson (D-MN), and Rodney Davis (R-IL).
The National Biodiesel Board offered thanks to the lawmakers. “On behalf of biodiesel producers across the country, I’d like to thank Representatives Finkenauer, Loebsack, Marshall, Peterson and Davis and many others who are standing up on behalf of the industry and the RFS,” said Kurt Kovarik, NBB VP of Federal Affairs. “As they’ve noted, an RFS waiver would be unjustified and simply compound the economic challenges that biodiesel producers and farmers face. Further, it would undercut a successful environmental policy that is transitioning the United States to better, cleaner fuels.”
Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Geoff Cooper says biofuel producers are hurting just as badly as some refiners. “While refiners are appealing to governors in a callous effort to evade the RFS under the guise of COVID-19 relief, the law requires—and EPA has previously concluded—that waivers can only be granted when any potential hardship is being caused by the RFS, not any other factor. However, in this case, the governors correctly state the harm is caused by plummeting oil prices attributable to an international oil glut and falling demand caused by COVID-19. Those factors are also hurting ethanol. In fact, half of the nation’s ethanol production capacity was shut down over the past several months.”