Area corn growers received some good news today from Washington D. C., oil producers will now have to produce the millions of gallons lost in waivers issued to various petroleum-producing plants.
U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy and member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, described the new ruling by the White House on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS):
Senator Ernst has been a consistent advocate and fighter on behalf of Iowa’s biofuels industry. She has continued to advocate for the administration to uphold the RFS.
Ernst has urged the EPA to stop issuing so-called “hardship” waivers exempting obligated parties, to provide topline information about the waivers already issued, to disclose whether or not the agency redistributed the waived volume obligations among the non-exempted obligated parties, and to outline the agency’s plan to make the waiver process more transparent. The question is, do the already waivered manufacturing plants have to start producing ethanol?
On Monday, Senator Ernst spoke directly by phone with President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, specifically on this topic and this announcement. This was one of many conversations Senator Ernst has had with President Trump and administration officials over the past several weeks to make sure Iowans’ voices are heard on this issue.
Senator Ernst is the lead sponsor of S.1840, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Integrity Act of 2019. The bipartisan legislation would ensure EPA properly accounts for exempted gallons in the annual renewable volume obligations (RVO) it sets each November.
Senator Ernst worked closely with the Trump Administration, specifically EPA, to remove the outdated restriction on the sale of E15 year-round. In May of this year, the EPA finalized a new rule lifting the ban, and the Senator joined President Trump to celebrate the big win for Iowa farmers and producers.
For two years in a row, Growth Energy, who is a leading biofuels trade association in the country, have presented Senator Ernst with the “Fueling Growth Award,” for her work to get E15 sold year-round and her constant efforts to advance, support, and defend renewable fuels and the RFS as a whole.