Vilsack Addresses Plans for Biofuels

Cindy Zimmerman

As Secretary of Agriculture during the entire Obama Administration, Tom Vilsack from Iowa was known to be a champion of biofuels. During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee Tuesday, the former secretary pledged to continue his support of the industry – and make small refinery exemptions rare again.

“The waiver system was designed for small refineries that were having trouble, it was not designed for large scale refineries owned by Exxon and Chevron,” said Vilsack in response to a question from Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). “I would hope and will strongly urge EPA to go back to a day when those waivers are very, very infrequently granted.”

Vilsack hearing - biofuels (1:37)

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) asked Vilsack how he will support biofuels in the White House when the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is up for re-authorization in 2022 amidst a strong push for electric vehicles. “The reality is that we’re going to need both (biofuels and EV),” said Vilsack. “I don’t think I’m going to have to be too persuasive in that Oval Office to have the president, who committed to the RFS during the course of the campaign, to follow through on that.”

Vilsack hearing - EVs (3:05)

Biodiesel, biofuels, Ethanol, Ethanol News, USDA