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EPA Renewable Fuels Proposal Falls Short of Expectations

Podcasts / Newsline October 31, 2019

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The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to address small refinery waivers doesn’t uphold agriculture’s agreement with the White House. Micheal Clements has more.

Clements: The EPA’s proposed supplemental rule to address small-refinery exemptions to renewable-fuel requirements doesn’t do enough to make up for lost demand, the American Farm Bureau Federation says. Andrew Walmsley, AFBF Congressional Relations Director, says the EPA proposal falls short of an agreement with President Donald Trump.

Walmsley: There was an agreement announced on October 4 that we thought got to the heart of the issue to prevent what we believe is the misuse of these waivers going forward. However, EPA proposed a rule a couple weeks later that falls short of what the agreement we believe the President stated. What EPA did was not take into account actual exempted waivers, it was more into the recommended exempted waivers from Department of Energy. That doesn’t make up for the loss that we’re actually seeing in the marketplace.

Clements: Walmsley says the waivers have exempted roughly four billion gallons of biofuels from the RFS over the last three years, adding to a challenging farm economy.

Walmsley: Obviously farmers and ranchers are struggling, there’s a lot of challenges being thrown their way. One of the bright spots has been our renewable energy policy and the demand that the Renewable Fuel Standard brings. But the small refinery waivers undermine that demand. We need to stop the bleeding. There’s an opportunity for the EPA to get this right, restore integrity to the RFS that benefits farmers and ranchers and continues to provide choice to consumers at the pump.

Clements: Walmsley says farmers should tell the EPA to uphold the President’s promise through the public comment period.

Walmsley: There’s an opportunity to comment, now until November 29 into the Federal Register to encourage EPA to fix this rule and uphold the agreement that was made with the White House on October 4.

Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.

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