Indiana Senator Mike Braun, along with six other Republican senators and Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, each sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler last week expressing concern over key differences between the Renewable Fuels Standard agreement announced in early October and what was then published in the federal register 11 days later.
In his letter, Braun said that the original announcement would provide stability to Hoosier farmers and refiners.
“My understanding of that agreement was that it would result in the maintenance of the 15 billion-gallon conventional ethanol RFS mandate, a level needed to bring certainty and price stability back to the RFS market. Further, the implementation mechanism proposed, using a three-year rolling average of actual exemptions granted by EPA, provided further stability and predictability in meeting the mandate.”
Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor says that the EPA’s supplemental proposal fails to accurately account for lost gallons and betrays President Trump’s promise to rural Americans.
“It cuts the fix we were promised in half, if not more, and destroys what may be our last chance to bring back the ethanol plants that have shut down and help ease the burden facing American farmers.”
One of those ethanol plants that has shut down is in Cloverdale, IN. Braun said in his letter that POET decided to shut down this plant partly because of the policy uncertainty within the RFS.
“The plant consumed 31 million bushels of corn annually, and its closure has left dozens of producers seeking a new place for their harvest.”
Braun concluded his letter to EPA Administrator Wheeler saying, “I note with concern the changes made between the October 4 announcement and the October 15 published draft rule. Today, Hoosier corn and soybean producers need the market and price certainty promised in the deal on October 4. I urge the EPA to implement the agreement in a way that provides such certainty.”
You can see Braun’s full letter here.