According to a recent Reuters report, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved 31 of its 38 pending small refinery exemptions (SREs) for 2018. Recipients of the exemptions are not required to comply with renewable volume obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
The RFS exists to drive investment in American-grown biofuels. However, EPA has consistently misappropriated RFS waivers, cutting demand for biofuels by 2.6 billion gallons and undermining the intent of the law. NFU President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in response to the report:
“This has been a particularly painful week for American family farmers and ranchers. It started on Monday with China – historically our biggest trading partner – halting all imports of American farm products, and it ended today with EPA acting like a wholly owned subsidiary of big oil.
“But these aren’t isolated events – it has been month after month of bad news. After more than a year of constant trade escalation, President Trump seems determined to destroy the United States’ reputation as a reliable supplier of quality agricultural products. At the same time, his EPA seems bent on destroying our domestic market for renewable fuels. Together, these actions are crippling our markets, creating enormous stress in the countryside, and forcing more and more farmers into bankruptcy.
“Our farmers are growing weary of the news from this White House. They’re tired of the empty promises, they’re tired of the excuses, and they’re tired of their needs being put last.”