December 19, 2019
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) released the following statement today after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized its Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) supplemental rule:
“The Trump administration needs to live up to the commitments it made to Missouri farmers and the biofuels sector. In the wake of historic flooding and months of market instability, it’s important for growers to be certain that EPA will uphold the 15 billion gallon blended fuel target. This rule falls short by ignoring industry recommendations for how EPA should fully account for small refinery exemptions moving forward.”
There are six ethanol plants in Missouri that produce nearly 300 million gallons of ethanol annually. Missouri is the second largest state nationwide with regard to biodiesel production.
Blunt continued, “I’ve heard a lot of skepticism from Missouri growers about what this rulemaking will mean for them and the future of the biofuels industry. The Trump administration has an important opportunity to make it clear that agency decisions moving forward will maintain the integrity of the RFS. It’s an issue I’ll be watching very closely and I’ll continue working with my colleagues to ensure EPA is held accountable.”
Blunt has repeatedly advocated for policies to promote a strong biofuels industry. In November, he joined five other Midwest senators in sending a letter to EPA urging the administration to take corrective action in its RFS rulemaking to uphold the agreement reached between President Trump and Midwest senators on September 12, 2019. Blunt also submitted comments to EPA expressing concerns about the manner in which the agency planned to calculate the reallocation of biofuel gallons due to exemptions for oil refineries.
In August 2018, Blunt led a bipartisan group of 35 senators in a letter to 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.
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 EPA.