1,726 biofuel supporters call on Trump to fix SRE rule

By Erin Voegele | December 18, 2019

A group of 1,726 biofuel supporters from 41 states sent a letter to President Trump on Dec. 17 urging him to restore markets for American farmers and biofuel producers by ensuring the U.S. EPA’s pending Renewable Fuel Standard rulemaking fully accounts for biofuel demand lost to small refinery exemptions (SREs).

“We write to express our frustration with the [EPA], which continues to ignore your commitments to the men and women across rural America who feed and fuel the world,” they wrote. “Despite your own vocal support for ethanol and biodiesel, the agency’s underhanded actions have shuttered dozens of biofuel plants, left thousands out of work, and destroyed vital markets for America’s farmers at a time when few have the resources to weather another storm. Now the EPA is walking away from your plant to repair the damage, while trade uncertainty continues to threaten American agriculture.”

The letter notes that the notice of supplemental proposed rulemaking released by EPA on Oct. 15 “accounts for only a fraction of the demand destroyed by SREs due to last-minute tampering designed to change how the agency will calculate lost gallons.” The letter also stresses that the proposal is also lacking key elements of Trump’s agreement with rural champions, including efforts to break down market barriers for ethanol and biodiesel blends and modernize retail infrastructure.

“Farmers and biofuel producers across the country are simply asking that the EPA enforce the law,” the letter continues. “As solution based on actual gallons waived will offer the certainty needed for plant owners to resume production, for gas station owners to invest in E15 and other ethanol blends, and for farm communities to recover from the EPA’s unprecedented use of oil refinery waivers. We understand the EPA’s plan very clearly, and it will not work. We cannot reopen plants and sell farm products into markets shut down by secretive waivers and plagued by uncertainty due to schemes to keep the [RFS] from working as intended.”

The letter calls for Trump to directly intervene and stop EPA from sabotaging the SRE rule.

A full copy of the letter can be downloaded from the FuelsAmerica website