On Friday, Governor Pete Ricketts issued a statement following news that President Donald J. Trump had ordered the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency to review the practice of issuing waivers to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
“Thank you to President Trump for ordering this much-needed review of waivers to the RFS,” said Governor Ricketts. “Many in ethanol producing states like Nebraska are concerned that an escalation in refinery waivers has resulted in significant reductions in the blending of ethanol. A study will help understand how much of an impact these waivers have had on ethanol production, and can help ensure the integrity of the RFS remains intact.”
NBB Letter to EPA’s Wheeler Highlights Economic Damage from Refinery Exemptions
The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) today sent a letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, highlighting the economic damage to the biodiesel and renewable diesel industry from the agency’s retroactive small refinery exemptions under the Renewable Fuel Standard. The letter takes issue with the Administrator’s recent comment that the approval of year-round E15 sales will make up for the damage from the exemptions.
“The E15 waiver will not provide market growth for biodiesel and renewable diesel, but small refinery exemptions have had a detrimental impact on demand for those fuels,” the letter states. “EPA is required to repair the demand destruction for biodiesel and renewable diesel resulting from the agency’s flood of unwarranted, retroactive small refinery exemptions.”
Kurt Kovarik, NBB’s Vice President of Federal Affairs, added, “If EPA continues to undercut the biodiesel market by handing out RFS exemptions to every refiner that asks, America’s soybean farmers and small biodiesel producers will be hit hardest. America’s soybean growers need new markets and additional value for their crops; biodiesel is an important market that adds value to every bushel.
“When you consider how large some of the exempted refineries are compared to biodiesel producers, you can understand the threat to the agricultural economy. According to University of Illinois Professor Scott Irwin, the demand destruction for biodiesel and renewable diesel could reach 2.45 billion gallons over the next few years causing a $7.7 billion economic loss for our industry.”