WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today applauded the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement of a Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) deal. Among other changes, the EPA will begin to account for projected numbers of gallons exempted when coming up with Renewable Volume Obligations for refiners, providing farmers and ethanol producers with more certainty.
Senator Fischer was an integral part of a concerted effort over a series of months involving numerous meetings and phone calls with President Trump, White House staff, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, and her Midwest Senate colleagues to secure this deal.
“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. Today’s announcement means more certainty for families, businesses, and communities across the Good Life,” said Senator Fischer.
More information on the deal:
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 with 2020. Accounting for these exemptions will ensure the 15 billion net gallons of conventional biofuel obligation is met in the 2020 RVO.
This deal follows an announcement by the EPA earlier this year to allow the year-round sale of E-15. Senator Fischer long fought for year-round sales and was a lead sponsor of the bipartisan Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act which would have allowed retailers to sell E-15 and other higher-ethanol blends all year. She traveled with President Trump to Council Bluffs, Iowa, this summer, where the announcement was made alongside U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.
Senator Fischer is also the lead sponsor of the bipartisan RFS Integrity Act of 2019. The bill aims to add order and transparency to a messy and opaque Small Refinery Exemption process. It sets a deadline for refiners to apply for exemptions and requires the EPA to account for lost gallons when coming up with Renewable Volume Obligations. Additionally, the legislation mandates more transparency in how and when the EPA reports Small Refinery Exemptions. Currently, the RFS Integrity Act has 15 cosponsors, including five Republicans and 10 Democrats.