Congressmen Adrian Smith (R-NE), Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.), and Rodney Davis (R-IL), Co-Chairs of the House Biofuels Caucus, sent a letter urging President Biden to uphold campaign promises he made regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
Recent reports indicate the Biden Administration is taking steps to weaken Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) which would reduce the demand for biofuels, an action President Biden strongly condemned under the Trump Administration.
“If your Administration makes the unprecedented move to reopen the finalized 2020 RVO, and strip the demand for billions of gallons, the industry will certainly be devastated,” said the members. “As you stated, “Lip service won’t make up for nearly four years of retroactive damage that’s decimated our trade economy and forced ethanol plants to shutter.” If these rumors are correct, demand for over 5 billion gallons of renewable, clean fuels will be lost.”
In June, members of the Biofuels Caucus raised concerns about rumored plans to circumvent RFS in favor of the oil industry.
Read the full letter here or below:
President Joseph R. Biden
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Biden,
We are deeply disappointed by the rumors that indicate your Administration is reversing course on its promises as it relates to upholding the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). During your campaign, just over a year ago, you said that former President Donald J. Trump “could have made explicit his imperative to stand with American farmers by reversing harmful waivers and setting strong levels for 2021i,” and yet, we understand that the forthcoming Renewable Volumes Obligation (RVO) will cut the demand for more combined gallons of ethanol than all gallons cut due to Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) issued by the prior Administration.
If your Administration makes the unprecedented move to reopen the finalized 2020 RVO, and strip the demand for billions of gallons, the industry will certainly be devastated. As you stated, “Lip service won’t make up for nearly four years of retroactive damage that’s decimated our trade economy and forced ethanol plants to shutter.” If these rumors are correct, demand for over 5 billion gallons of renewable, clean fuels will be lost.
Biofuels production is a major piece of the rural economy in our districts, therefore, we strongly urge you to direct your EPA to reconsider the rule to ensure that your Administration makes good on these promises to “fight for family farmers and revitalize rural economies… by ushering in a new era of biofuels.”
Both oil refiners and ethanol refiners were hurt by decreased demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and while we hope that markets will continue to rebound, it is now more important than ever to uphold the law and ensure our domestic biofuels producers have certainty through fulfilling the statutory obligation of 15 billion gallons of conventional ethanol, annually, along with a strong overall RVO.
Given the challenges facing our farmers from all sides on this issue, it is imperative that your Administration choose to stand with American farmers. We stand ready to work with you to ensure that our biofuels producers are once again prioritized through a strong RVO, and that the law is upheld. Thank you for your attention to this request.