WASHINGTON, DC – Leaders in Iowa politics and the ethanol industry are hailing a decision by the Trump administration to reject so called ‘gap-year’ exemptions from biofuel laws.
The Environmental Protection Agency had received 68 requests from petroleum refiners for a retroactive exemption from federal law requiring ethanol be blended into gasoline. The EPA has now denied the majority of those pending requests.
“I’ve been calling for these ‘gap year’ waivers to be thrown out since they were announced. Now, the administration has listened to our calls for action. Today’s announcements will help provide more certainty to our biofuel producers, who have for too-long been yanked around by the EPA, and help increase access to E15, which drives up demand for corn and ethanol,” says Iowa U.S. Senator Joni Ernst. “The fight for Iowa’s renewable fuel industry, and our farmers, is not over. I’ll never stop being a relentless advocate for Iowa agriculture—holding EPA to their commitments and making sure the RFS is the law of the land.”
“Senator Ernst and I have long called for ending so-called hardship exemptions for big oil companies. I’m glad the EPA is listening to our feedback and common sense from farmers and biofuel producers. The rejection of these exemptions come after a thorough review process from both the EPA and the Department of Energy. I’m proud to partner with Senator Ernst who has been a relentless advocate in calling for these exemptions to be rejected. She has demonstrated effective leadership holding the EPA accountable on renewable fuels,” says Iowa U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley. “I applaud President Trump for keeping his word and supporting our farmers and biofuel producers. This is an important step that will allow more gas stations to provide E15 to Iowans year-round without significantly changing their infrastructure. I’m glad to work with Senator Ernst who has been a steadfast advocate for our biofuels community and called on the EPA to make this change earlier this year.”
“Today’s action lifts a cloud of uncertainty that has been hanging over America’s farmers and biofuel producers since June,” says Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “We’re grateful to farm state champions like Senator Ernst, who has led a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers in the House and Senate and governors across the heartland in speaking out against oil-backed efforts to dodge the law, circumvent the courts, and upend markets. Growth Energy looks forward to continuing our work with the White House and leaders in Congress to ensure that we restore integrity to our nation’s biofuel targets and that rural communities have the support they need to revitalize growth in the months ahead.”
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds also issued the following statement on the EPA’s decision:
“As Iowa farmers grapple with trade disruption, a global pandemic, and the aftermath of a devastating derecho, it’s critical that we take action to help our ag economy. Today’s decision by the Trump Administration eliminates much of the uncertainty surrounding small refinery exemptions that undercut demand for biofuels. It’s a significant step forward for Iowa’s renewable fuel industry and another example of President Trump honoring his commitment to Iowa farmers.”
“Today also could not have happened without the relentless efforts of Senator Joni Ernst, who has always been a friend of Iowa’s biofuel industry. Whether it's on the Senate floor or in the Oval Office at the White House, Joni has worked tirelessly to secure Trump’s support for biofuels.”
“We can never stop fighting for our renewable fuels industry and that’s why I will continue to work with President Trump as well as U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst to protect our biofuel markets now and in the future.”
Theresa Greenfield for Iowa campaign spokesperson Izzi Levy released the following statement in response to the EPA’s announcement on gap-year waivers:
“Fifty days before Election Day, this announcement does nothing to erase the massive economic damage in Iowa caused by Senator Ernst’s vote for a fossil fuel lobbyist to run the EPA, which has already issued 85 RFS waivers that benefit Ernst's Big Oil donors. Theresa has spent nearly three months calling for EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s resignation over his ongoing attempts to undermine the RFS, and holding Senator Ernst accountable for her disastrous vote to confirm this fossil fuel lobbyist whose reckless anti-ethanol agenda has inflicted so much pain on Iowa farmers."