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Blunt Calls on EPA to Ensure Final Renewable Fuel Standard Rule Upholds Commitments to Rural America

November 07, 2019

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) submitted comments to the Federal Register, along with six other Midwestern Senators, regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) supplemental rule on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). In the letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, Blunt expressed concerns about the manner in which the agency plans to calculate the reallocation of biofuel gallons in subsequent years due to exemptions for oil refineries.

“Agriculture is Missouri’s largest industry which contributes $88 billion to the local economy and employs nearly 400,000 people across the state,” Blunt wrote. “There are six ethanol plants in Missouri that produce nearly 300 million gallons of ethanol annually. Also, Missouri is the second largest state nationwide with regard to biodiesel production. …

“Catastrophic flooding, ongoing trade disputes, and now EPA’s failure to uphold its commitment to rural America and implement the RFS in a manner that is consistent with statutory biofuel volume obligations only further hurts growers in Missouri who are already experiencing a struggling farm economy.

“I trust that the Administration will take the necessary and corrective action to produce a final rule that takes into account the concerns that myself and others within the biofuels industry share.” 

Blunt has repeatedly advocated for policies to promote a strong biofuels industry. In October 2018, Blunt commended the administration for moving to allow 15 percent ethanol blends (E15) to be sold year round. Blunt had previously advocated for the move in a letter to the EPA.

In August 2018, Blunt led a bipartisan group of 35 senators in a letter to the EPA urging the agency to increase volume obligations for biomass-based diesel and advanced biofuel and ensure any small refiner economic hardship exemptions are appropriately accounted for in its final rule for the RFS.    

The full text of the letter can be viewed here.

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