EPA Assures Grassley, Midwestern Senators on Biofuels
WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and other Midwestern senators received several assurances in a letter from Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, including that the agency will not follow through on a proposal that would have undermined the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard and represented an abandonment of President Donald Trump’s commitments to biofuels and a strong RFS. The letter from Pruitt can be found here. Grassley earlier this week convened a meeting with Pruitt and other senators from biofuels-producing states to express serious concern about a recent EPA proposal that could have significantly reduced renewable volume obligations under the RFS and run contrary to congressional intent and the President’s stated policy on biofuels. Grassley made the following comment.
“It’s a great day for Iowa and a great day for rural America. Administrator Pruitt should be commended for following through on President Trump’s commitment to biofuels and the RFS. While this is good news for the industry, it’s also good news for the entire country, which is made stronger by the many jobs, increased energy independence and cleaner air that renewable sources of energy like biofuels provide. A strong RFS helps grow domestic energy production and is an important part of an all-of-the-above energy policy.
“The previous proposal would have gone against President Trump’s support for biofuels and what he said to Iowa and the nation and to me personally. Congress intended and President Trump pledged to support biofuels. I’m glad EPA is showing that it’s committed to the President’s agenda. I’m also glad EPA is backing away from any attempt to change the point of obligation. Doing so would have financially burdened local retailers and other small businesses across the country.
“I welcome Administrator Pruitt’s willingness to work to make E15 available year-round. Unlocking the full potential of every energy source, biofuels included, should be a no-brainer. It would help rural economies and result in even more fuel made in America. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues and the Administration to ensure that the nation’s energy policy makes sense and doesn’t put any one sector at a disadvantage.”
Earlier this week, Grassley and a bipartisan group of 32 other senators urged EPA to maintain levels for 2018 and increase its proposed 2019 Renewable Volume Obligations for biodiesel. Grassley, along with a bipartisan group of 37 other senators, wrote to Pruitt earlier this month calling for a strong RFS. Grassley spoke on the Senate floor about the President’s commitments on the issue following the release of the latest EPA proposal. Before his confirmation, Pruitt committed to following congressional intent, upholding the rule of law and following through on the President’s commitments.