The Environmental Protection Agency has now said that they will defend the 10th Circuit Court’s ruling on small refinery exemptions. Previously, a number of exemptions were given that undermined the production of ethanol in the area. This has led to several farmers, Representatives, Senators, the Governor, and other political officials criticizing the moves.
With the change in position by the EPA, those criticisms have changed to praises. Governor Kim Reynolds stated, “The small refinery exemption waivers have undermined the Renewable Fuel Standard for far too long, diminishing demand for ethanol and biofuels. Today’s announcement by the EPA in defense of the Tenth Circuit Court’s decision to rein in these waivers is a victory for Iowa farmers, our renewable fuels industry, and our rural economy. It is an encouraging sign from the Biden Administration on renewable fuel policy, but we cannot let up until the 10th Circuit’s ruling is fully
Senator Joni Ernst also came out in support of the change. “Unlawfully-granted small refinery exemptions have caused over 4 billion gallons of demand destruction for ethanol and biodiesel and caused numerous biofuel plants across the heartland to shut down—depressing commodity values in an already uncertain time for Iowa farmers and producers. The 10th Circuit decision rightly ruled that EPA abused the SRE program and illegally granted these waivers.
“For months on end, Iowa’s biofuel community and Senator Grassley and I have been calling on EPA to see the 10th Circuit decision as the law of the land, and finally, they’ve listened. This is a step to provide much-needed certainty to ethanol and biodiesel producers. While this is certainly a win, we will not take our foot off the gas in holding the new administration accountable to uphold the entire Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and ensure transparency in the exemptions process going forward.”
Senator Charles Grassley was recently at Winnebago Industries. He was happy with the change by the EPA but has concerns for the future.