Senators urge Biden to resist Big Oil’s demands to undercut RFS

By Erin Voegele | June 30, 2021

Sens. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa; Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; John Thune, R-S.D.; Michael Rounds, R-S.D.; Ben Sasse, R-Neb.; and Deb Fischer, R-Neb., on June 30 sent a letter to President Biden urging him to resist calls from Big Oil to undercut the Renewable Fuel Standard.

In the letter, the senators express concerns over reports that Biden is reportedly considering bailouts for oil refineries despite commitments he made during his campaign to strengthen the RFS and grow the U.S. biofuel manufacturing sector. “Apart from being inconsistent with your stated policy position on the campaign trail last year, this proposal is also contrary to your stated commitment to move our economy towards a cleaner anergy future, as biofuel like corn-based ethanol reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions dramatically relative to petroleum-based gasoline,” they wrote.

The letter urges Biden not to bend to oil industry demands to undercut the RFS by either reducing annual blend obligations or by any other means.

Growth Energy has spoken out to thank the senators for their letter. “We’re grateful to our Senate champions for urging President Biden’s Administration to not enact decisions that would reverse course on his commitments to support biofuels,” said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. “Biofuels have repeatedly proven to be a solution that can be used today to reduce emissions and help our nation achieve our climate goals. Lowering, waiving, capping, or any backtracking on the RFS damages our ability to decarbonize our vehicle fleet, threatens large agricultural markets, and jeopardizes hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs supported by the biofuel industry. We certainly hope Biden Administration officials, especially at the Environmental Protection Agency, heed this letter, support the RFS, and keep annual conventional biofuels blending targets at 15 billion gallons.” 

A full copy of the letter can be downloaded from Ernst’s website