Policy Corner: Attacks from Big Oil Continue

Show Your Support for Biofuels and Submit Comments to EPA

In May the biofuels and agriculture industries secured a long-fought win against Big Oil when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved year-round sales of E15.

But the oil industry didn’t take long to start a new dispute with the ethanol industry and one of its strongest allies — Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. Perdue has been advocating to improve the EPA’s biofuels policy.

In June more than a dozen oil state senators sent a letter to President Trump asking him to curb the involvement of Perdue around the decision making process on small refinery waivers. The June letter to Trump followed other efforts from a similar group of senators to disagree with Perdue’s role in small refinery exemptions.

These attacks on Perdue are another tactic from the oil industry to erode support for homegrown biofuels, industry leaders say.

“Secretary Perdue is a critical voice for biofuels inside the Trump Administration. The oil industry is trying to attack Perdue, and we can’t stand for that. We need to continue to support Secretary Perdue and farmers, especially during tough economic times for producers in rural America,” said Kyle Gilley, Senior Vice President of External Affairs & Communications, POET.

To date, the exemptions have caused a loss of 2.6 billion gallons of renewable fuel blending and nearly a billion bushels of corn demand. “The ethanol industry remains concerned that the EPA will continue to subsidize ExxonMobil at the expense of the farmer,” Gilley said.

“At a time when grain markets have reached a 42-year low and there was an $11.8 billion decline in farm income the last quarter, our rural communities are continuing to be punished by the rapid escalation in small refinery exemptions by this administration,” said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. “There is no legal or rational explanation for why EPA has quadrupled the number of secret exemptions to the world’s largest oil companies in the past 17 months.”

Biofuels supporters need to rally together and request that the EPA end the practices of granting small refinery exemptions. One important way to show your support is to comment on the EPA’s proposed Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) for 2020.

In July the EPA released proposed amounts of renewable fuel to be blended into the nation’s fuel supply in 2020. A residual criticism from last year’s numbers is that the true amount of gallons for starch ethanol will be lower if the EPA continues to issue hardship waivers.   

Please join us in telling regulators that the RFS works and that any waived gallons need to be reallocated.





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