Statement of Aaron Lehman, Iowa Farmers Union President
“Now more than ever the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is under attack by the Trump Administration. This couldn’t be happening at a worse time for Iowa Farmers. Farmers are making half of what they were in 2013, and farm debt is the highest it has been since the 1980s farm crisis. The RFS and policies like it act to help expand markets for commodities produced in Iowa and, in turn, increase farm income.
Now the EPA has undermined that potential with the misallocation of 31 small refinery exemptions (SREs). These exemptions will eliminate demand for biofuels by an estimated 1.43 billion gallons, bringing the total losses due to the waivers to over 4 billion gallons. Since 2013 EPA has offered SREs to relieve small refineries of “economic hardship” caused by compliance with Renewable Volume Obligations under the RFS. But in recent years the number of approved exemptions has nearly quadrupled, and many of the recent recipients are owned by multi-billion-dollar oil corporations.
President Trump has declared his support for rural America, but he is allowing his Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to undermine this program just when farmers need it most. The condition of rural America is the real economic hardship here. Not those phony claims made by big oil.”