Iowa lawmakers urge OMB to uphold Trump’s commitment to RFS

By Erin Voegele | December 12, 2019

Reps. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa; Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa; and Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, send a letter to Russell Vought, acting director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, on Dec. 11 urging him to ensure that the U.S. EPA’s final rule regarding small refinery exemptions (SREs) upholds the administration’s guarantee of blending 15 billion gallons of conventional ethanol annually.

The letter describes the impact SREs have had on Iowa farmers and biofuel produces, noting they have caused biofuel plant closures, job losses and affected corn demand.  

“The RFS promises our rural economies that 15 billion gallons of conventional ethanol and increasing volumes of advanced biofuels such as biodiesel will be blended into the nation’s transportation fuel supply,” the Iowa lawmakers wrote. “This supplemental rule fails to provide a suitable methodology for accounting for granted SREs. It is wholly inadequate for EPA to account for SREs by arbitrarily basing those projections on recommendations from the Department of Energy (DOE). Not only has EPA consistently waived more gallons than DOE recommends, the method will simply not fulfill the annual promise of the RFS. Nothing short of meeting this promise is acceptable.

“EPA’s proposed supplemental rule fails to provide the certainty needed in rural communities,” they continued. “Without a binding commitment that EPA will account for exemptions granted by EPA, this rule fails to keep the RFS whole. The Office of Management and Budget must ensure that the final rule upholds the integrity of the RFS, avoids further plant closures, and provides farmers and producers certainty going forward.”

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