Fischer, LaHood praise federal RFS plan

U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) and U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL) praised a proposed Trump administration plan on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the federal program that requires transportation fuel sold in the United States to contain a minimum volume of renewable fuels.

“In my discussions with the president, I fought hard for a fair deal for Nebraska’s farmers and ethanol producers. I thank the president for following through on his commitment to rural America,” said Sen. Fischer, who helped secure the plan with President Donald Trump, White House staff, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler, and her Midwest Senate colleagues.

Under the newly announced plan, the 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 E-15, according to statements released by the agencies.

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

“I continually urged this administration to uphold the original intent of the RFS, and I applaud President Trump and his team for hearing the concerns of Midwest producers and keeping to their promise,” said Rep. LaHood. “I’ll continue to fight for Illinois producers and work with this administration to bolster our agriculture economy.”

Also under the deal, the EPA will factor in recent waivers exempting oil refineries from blending renewable fuels when setting new annual Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) starting in 2020, according to a summary provided by Sen. Fischer’s office, which said that accounting for these exemptions will ensure the 15 billion net gallons of conventional biofuel obligation is met in the 2020 RVO.

“In Illinois, renewable fuels drive demand for our corn and soybean farmers, and the announcement by President Trump’s administration today is a victory for Midwest agriculture and biofuel producers,” Rep. LaHood added. “This deal ensures that lost gallons from small refinery waivers are accurately accounted for and remove barriers to higher biofuel blends.”