Grassley, Iowa delegation ask Wheeler to meet with Iowans on RFS

By Erin Voegele | July 18, 2018

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and the entire Iowa Congressional delegation have invited U.S. EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler to Iowa to meet with those who are counting on the agency to uphold President Trump’s commitment to the Renewable Fuel Standard.

In a letter to Wheeler, the Iowa delegation said it is encouraged by a statement made by Wheeler during his confirmation hearing last year in which he said “The RFS is the law of the land. I fully support the program.”

The delegation expressed concern about the 2.25 billion gallons of demand destruction caused by the unprecedented number of small refinery hardship waivers granted for the 2016 and 2017 compliance years. “The recently released 2019 proposed rule indicates there will be no accounting moving forward of gallons that might be waived under the small refinery waivers in order to maintain the statutory renewable volume obligation,” they wrote in the letter. “A reduction in demand for renewable fuels pushes commodity prices even lower and farmers are already facing low commodity prices. We strongly urge you to reconsider the proposed rule and work to ensure that the final rule is structured to ensure that any waivers granted do not reduce the overall renewable volume obligation.”

The letter also addresses year-round sales of E15, noting the President Trump recently directed the EPA to allow for year-round sales of the fuel blend. However, the EPA has yet to comply with that direction. “This is particularly frustrating given the damaging impact that previously granted waivers have already had on RIN prices and renewable fuel demand,” the delegation wrote. “As Iowa corn farmers are anxiously awaiting their 2018 crop, a Reid vapor pressure (RVP) waiver would help grow demand and improve the markets. Since its creation, the RFS has helped us reduce our dependency on foreign oil, promoted cleaner air, created good-paying jobs, given consumers cheaper fuel, and spurred economic growth in our rural communities.”