Today, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) thanked President Donald Trump for directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to properly account for future small refinery exemptions in annual Renewable Fuel Standard rules. NBB also thanked Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-IA), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) for their steadfast defense of the renewable fuel industry and the RFS program.
NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen stated, “On behalf of NBB’s members and soybean growers, we are grateful that President Trump is taking a huge step to restore integrity to the Renewable Fuel Standard. Biodiesel producers continue to be severely harmed by EPA’s misuse of small refinery exemptions. Nine producers from across the country – including in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Texas, Georgia and Iowa – have closed their doors or reduced operations and laid off more than 200 employees. Today’s announcement is a first step in reversing the loss of production and restoring those jobs. The biodiesel industry deeply appreciates the consistently strong advocacy of Agriculture Secretary Perdue and Iowa’s political leaders.”
Kurt Kovarik, NBB Vice President of Federal Affairs, added, “Proper accounting of the exemptions is vital to ensure that the annual RFS volumes send a reliable signal to biodiesel producers, who are making investments and plans for the future. The biodiesel industry relies on the RFS program to support continued growth and market development. While today’s proposal addresses the lost gallons from future exemptions, it does not provide for additional volumes of biomass-based diesel in 2021. We will continue to press EPA to send signals for future growth for biodiesel producers and soybean farmers.
“We appreciate President Trump’s commitment to make biofuels producers and soybean farmers whole by accounting for waived biofuel gallons using a three-year average of exempted gallons as an estimate. We look forward to working with EPA to ensure that the President’s commitment is fully and faithfully implemented and the RFS program is made whole from the prior damage.”
LINCOLN, Neb. – This morning, the White House released its intention to uphold the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by reallocating waived gallons of ethanol. The Nebraska Corn Board and the Nebraska Corn Growers Association thank President Trump and his administration for following through in their commitment to our nation’s corn farmers and our ethanol industry. Nebraska Corn also thanks the USDA, our state’s congressional delegation, Gov. Pete Ricketts and Nebraska’s corn farmers who took a unified stand in demanding the law is upheld and the goals of the RFS are reached.
“We’ve been waiting for a reallocation of waived gallons for a long time,” said Dan Nerud, president of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association and farmer from Dorchester. “To say we were upset with the refinery waivers is an understatement, so today’s announcement is welcome news. We’re very happy with today’s announcement.”
“I’m extremely excited with today’s announcement,” said David Bruntz, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board and farmer from Friend. “Today’s news just goes to show what our growers can achieve when our voices are unified. Thanks to all of Nebraska and our nation’s corn farmers who rallied together to ensure we have vibrant corn and ethanol industries for years to come.”
Nebraska Corn looks forward to working with the administration to ensure the RFS is fully realized and the clean-burning, renewable ethanol industry continues to thrive.
President Donald Trump says “the farmers will be so happy” when they see what the White House is doing for ethanol. On Twitter, Trump says “it will be a giant package, get ready.”
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue at the Farm Progress Show this week said President Trump would announce details within the next couple of weeks. Perdue declined to offer any details, other than he pushed for easier access to higher blends of biofuels. Trump says that while the package will be welcomed by farmers, it also saved “the small refineries from certain closing.”
Ethanol groups have charged that small refinery waivers are killing demand for biofuels, because they exempt refiners from complying with volume requirements in the Renewable Fuel Standard. The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced 31 waivers for small refineries in 2020. In the last year of the Obama administration, the EPA issued seven waivers. Trump has held several White House meetings with cabinet members over the last two weeks, working a mitigation package.