Biofuels, Ag Industry Advocates Celebrate President Trump’s Plan to Uphold RFS
On Friday, Oct. 4, the biofuels and agricultural industries celebrated a new reform package that will restore the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), giving a sorely needed economic boost to rural communities across the Midwest and expanding environmental benefits across the U.S.
The reform package announced by the White House includes accurately accounting for small refinery exemptions, or SREs, beginning in the 2020 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs), eliminating regulatory barriers that restrict fuel retailers from offering higher biofuels blends, and adding infrastructure funding for E15 and E85, along with the President’s commitment to resolve trade issues impacting ethanol.
Leading up to the announcement, POET has been working closely with industry allies and elected champions in meetings with the White House to deliver this reform package and to stop demand destruction resulting from the illegal small refinery exemptions (SREs) and to support an expedited national rollout of E15.
Biofuels and agriculture industry advocates and elected officials across the heartland heralded the announcement for what it means to farmers, biofuel producers and consumers.
POET Chairman and CEO Jeff Broin expressed thanks both to President Trump and to the tireless work from biofuels champions to secure this package.
“President Trump’s announcement has reaffirmed his commitment to farmers and rural communities and marks a great victory in the Renewable Revolution. The President’s actions will restore integrity to the RFS — starting with the 2020 RVO levels — and help pave the way for the rollout of E15, creating a huge win for farmers, biofuel producers and consumers alike. Millions of Americans will see greater savings at the pump and have the freedom to choose climate-friendly, American-made E15, while our nation’s farmers will see increased demand for their grain at a critical time.
On behalf of all POET team members, we sincerely thank President Trump. We’re grateful for his leadership and the relentless support from our champions, Senators Ernst, Grassley, Thune, Rounds, Fischer, Sasse and Governors Reynolds, Ricketts and Noem,” Broin said.
Sen. John Thune (R-SD) visited POET’s headquarters on Monday, Oct. 7, and met with POET Founder and CEO Jeff Broin and team members to celebrate the announcement and how it stands to benefit agriculture and biofuels. Thune addressed many of the recent challenges faced by farmers, including adverse weather conditions and trade concerns, and how along with resolving trade, increasing biofuel demand is a solution to increasing grain prices.
“What this announcement brings when implemented is greater certainty about what the future holds for renewable fuels for farmers here in South Dakota,” he said.
Thune mentioned that he was in several meetings with the Trump Administration leading up to the announcement where he discussed the need to move away from issuing SREs and how “that undermines the RFS and our goals for increasing demand for biofuels.”
Thune was optimistic about the biofuels package. “The early indications are very positive with some of the steps they’re taking not only with the respect to restoring integrity to the RFS and getting 15 billion gallons in the RFS, but also coming up with some new infrastructure ideas and branding that we could do that will hopefully increase the amount of E15 in the fuel supply,” he said.
Thune also thanked POET for the company’s leadership. “We appreciate the important role that POET has played not only in this region but across the country. POET has helped push and move the ball along and point out why these policies matter,” Thune said.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, who also visited POET’s headquarters in celebration of the announcement, said the announcement will help producers secure an increased market for grain. “This is a big win for producers. With expanded ethanol capabilities, producers will see an increased market for their product and improved long-term stability. This move is absolutely critical for South Dakota farmers and ranchers as recent years have seen lower commodity prices and unstable market conditions.”
In Iowa, the nation’s largest corn-producing state, elected officials also called the announcement a victory for farmers and biofuel producers.
“This is great news for Iowa and rural America,” said Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa). “President Trump is following through on his commitment to our nation’s hardworking farmers and biofuels producers. The RFS is essential to the livelihoods of folks across our state, which is why I’ve been fighting tirelessly on behalf of Iowa’s farmers and producers every step of the way and making Iowans’ voices heard throughout this process. Our message was clear: uphold the RFS — 15 billion means 15 billion. The
President heard that message and has acted on it. The steps outlined today by the administration will help increase demand for our biofuels, provide certainty for farmers and producers for years to come, and ensure that EPA is implementing the RFS as it was written.”
“President Trump listened to the concerns of farmers and biofuels producers and delivered on their behalf. The president listened to all points of view and delivered,” reiterated Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).
“A robust renewable fuel standard is critical to a healthy ag economy in Iowa and across the nation,” said Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds. “We are grateful to President Trump for honoring the federal statute to blend 15 billion gallons of ethanol annually, and allowing existing E10 pumps to deliver E15 fuel, helping drive domestic demand for biofuels. By protecting the RFS, President Trump demonstrated his commitment to rural America and the American farmer.”
POET, Growth Energy and biofuels advocates will now turn attention to the EPA to follow the President’s directive and implement these policies.