Ernst applauds Trump administration renewable fuel standard plan

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) praised an Oct. 4 announcement by the Trump administration that it has released a plan on the renewable fuel standard (RFS).

“This is great news for Iowa and rural America,” said Sen. Ernst, chairman of the U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy and a member of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “President Trump is following through on his commitment to our nation’s hardworking farmers and biofuels producers.”

Under the plan, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will propose and request public comment on expanding biofuel requirements beginning in 2020 and will initiate a rulemaking process to streamline labeling and remove other barriers to the sale of E15, according to statements released by the agencies.

At the same time, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will seek opportunities through the budget process to consider infrastructure projects to facilitate higher biofuel blends, the statements said.

“The steps outlined today by the administration will help increase demand for our biofuels, provide certainty for farmers and producers for years to come, and ensure that EPA is implementing the RFS as it was written,” said Sen. Ernst, noting that the RFS “is essential to the livelihoods of folks across our state, which is why I’ve been fighting tirelessly on behalf of Iowa’s farmers and producers every step of the way and making Iowans’ voices heard throughout this process.”

Sen. Ernst also is an original cosponsor of the bipartisan Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Integrity Act of 2019, S.1840, which was sponsored by U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE). The bill would ensure that the EPA properly accounts for exempted gallons in the annual renewable volume obligations that the agency sets each November. The legislation is under consideration by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.