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Feenstra Urges Biden to Keep Renewable Fuel Standard Promises

Rep. Randy Feenstra (IA-04) co-led a letter with Reps. Rodney Davis (IL-13), Ashley Hinson (IA-01), Mariannettee Miller-Meeks (IA-02), and his Republican colleagues on the House Biofuels Caucus, urging President Biden to keep his promise on upholding the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by not decimating the demand for billions of gallons of ethanol.

New reports indicate that the Biden administration is “considering big cuts to biofuel blending mandates for 2020, 2021, 2022” which would be a “win for the oil industry” while “[e]thanol would take the biggest hit.

Following the news, Feenstra said, “As the House is set to consider trillions in spending that prioritizes Tesla owners over crop growers/biofuel producers, the Biden admin is also undercutting the industry by considering lower RFS volumes. I’ll fight this tooth-and-nail. Producers who fuel the world deserve better.”

The full text of the letter can be found below:

Dear President Biden,

We are deeply disappointed by the rumors that indicate your Administration is reversing course on its promises as it relates to upholding the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). During your campaign, just over a year ago, you said that former President Donald J. Trump “could have made explicit his imperative to stand with American farmers by reversing harmful waivers and setting strong levels for 2021,” and yet, we understand that the forthcoming Renewable Volumes Obligation (RVO) will cut the demand for more combined gallons of ethanol than all gallons cut due to Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) issued by the prior Administration.

If your Administration makes the unprecedented move to reopen the finalized 2020 RVO, and strip the demand for billions of gallons, the industry will certainly be devastated. As you stated, “Lip service won’t make up for nearly four years of retroactive damage that’s decimated our trade economy and forced ethanol plants to shutter.” If these rumors are correct, demand for over 5 billion gallons of renewable, clean fuels will be lost.

Biofuels production is a major piece of the rural economy in our districts, therefore, we strongly urge you to direct your EPA to reconsider the rule to ensure that your Administration makes good on these promises to “fight for family farmers and revitalize rural economies… by ushering in a new era of biofuels.”

Both oil refiners and ethanol refiners were hurt by decreased demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and while we hope that markets will continue to rebound, it is now more important than ever to uphold the law and ensure our domestic biofuels producers have certainty through fulfilling the statutory obligation of 15 billion gallons of conventional ethanol, annually, along with a strong overall RVO.

Given the challenges facing our famers from all sides on this issue, it is imperative that your Administration choose to stand with American farmers. We stand ready to work with you to ensure that our biofuels producers are once again prioritized through a strong RVO, and that the law is upheld. Thank you for your attention to this request.

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