The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) Board of Directors meeting this week included more than a dozen virtual visits with lawmakers and administration officials on Capitol Hill. Discussions covered a broad range of topics, including the impact of COVID-19 on ethanol producers, trade challenges and opportunities around the world, E15 market expansion, and EPA implementation of the Renewable Fuel Standard.
“With the ethanol industry still attempting to recover from the double-whammy of COVID-19 and RFS small refinery exemptions, it is more important than ever for our member companies to speak directly to elected leaders in Congress and important administration officials,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “While COVID-19 has changed the way we interact with members of Congress and agency leaders, it remains crucially important that ethanol producers advocate for our industry and stay engaged in the political process. Wednesday’s virtual Day on the Hill gave our members an excellent opportunity to share their questions and concerns, but also their gratitude, with key leaders in our nation’s capital.”
Participants in the virtual meeting included Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Dick Durbin (D-IL); House Reps. Cindy Axne (D-IA), Angie Craig (D-MN), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Adrian Smith (R-NE), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Rodney Davis (R-IL) and Cheri Bustos (D-IL). The event also included Gregg Doud, Chief Agricultural Negotiator for the U.S. Trade Representative; USDA Deputy Sec. Steve Censky; and Anne Idsal, principal deputy assistant administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The virtual meetings were timely as the Senate this week is considering a fourth round of aid to address the impacts on the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation’s economy and ethanol producers are hoping to be included in that.