When farmers speak up, policymakers pay attention. That was the case most recently, as U.S. farmers and biofuels supporters expressed frustration when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in August issued 31 new waivers to oil refineries, freeing them of requirements to blend biofuels. In response, President Trump promised to deliver a “giant package” to the biofuels industry that would provide relief to U.S. farmers.
Farmers and biofuels supporters told elected officials in Washington that it was time for a change. Agricultural groups and individuals across the Midwest, from South Dakota to Ohio, informed them how small refinery exemptions (SREs) are cutting biofuel demand at a time when farmers need markets the most. That united front helped turn the tide and led to the biofuel reform package announced by the White House in October. The reform deal includes accurately accounting for SREs in the 2020 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs), adding infrastructure funding for E15 and E85, and addressing trade issues. While more work is needed to carry through the White House directive, this announcement is a positive step forward.
POET thanks farmers and farm families for taking a stand and supporting the biofuels industry in the recent months. From writing letters and calling elected officials to ask them to address concerns about SREs, to attending events with representatives and asking questions about biofuels, your engagement made an impact. Your efforts helped urge the Administration to make a change and issue the reform package. Your engagement helped to amplify the message in Washington about the benefits of biofuels and to show elected officials that the biofuels and agriculture industries are united.
Your support has been present in communities across the heartland. We’ve heard stories of you calling up your neighbors and community leaders to make sure they attended town hall meetings with elected officials to discuss important issues relevant to the biofuels and agriculture industries. You not only showed up but also brought your neighbors with you. Thanks to your involvement, you helped keep biofuels top of mind in those conversations.
Without your voices, the biofuels industry wouldn’t be where it is today. POET leaders across the company are appreciative of your efforts.
“Farming is the lifeblood of the U.S. It’s how we got started. Farming and agriculture provide the backbone for our country in general. Farmers deserve a lot of appreciation for speaking up and being heard and putting pressure not only on our local champions but also on President Trump and his Administration to get something done to help our agricultural community. Thank you,” said Greg Olsen, General Manager of POET Biorefining – Corning in Corning, Iowa.
“Thank you for recognizing the battle that we’re up against,” said Jeremy Halgerson, General Manager at POET Biorefining – Hudson, in Hudson, S.D. “I appreciate the recognition that it is an issue we can be united on. I appreciate you carrying that message to the wider group that needs to hear the message.”
Thank you, farmers, for sharing the message with your friends, neighbors and policymakers that biofuels are good for farmers, consumers and our world — not to mention the benefits they provide for energy security, jobs, the economy and beyond. Thank you for your support!?