FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9, 2018

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106
ajerome@nfudc.org

WASHINGTON – The White House convened its final scheduled meeting yesterday on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and future of the biofuel industry, bringing together lawmakers and stakeholders from the oil and biofuel industries. The meeting concluded with an agreement to allow year-round use of E15 gasoline, a limit on RFS ‘hardship waivers’ being handed out to refiners, and the possibility that RIN credits could be applied to exports of renewable fuel. No cap on RIN prices, nor any offset for the hardship waivers that were handed out to large refiners were included in the agreement.

National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson released the following statement in response to the announcement:

“While there are certainly positives coming out of this meeting, there are several major potential pitfalls that will need to be mitigated as the administration sets out to implement these policies.

“Farmers Union supports the administration’s promises to make E15 available for year-round use, yet it is absolutely essential we move our transportation fuel market into higher blends of ethanol like E30. We also appreciate that a cap will not be put on RIN prices, as this would disincentivize the blending of homegrown, renewable fuels in our transportation fuel sector.

“However, this agreement contains no offset for the dozens of hardship waivers that the administration has handed out to oil refiners. These have waived up to 1.6 billion gallons in RFS volume requirements, effectively destroying demand for the surplus of corn that is keeping farm prices low for farmers. The agreement also includes a particularly detrimental plan to assign RIN credits to biofuel exports, which would both devastate domestic demand for biofuels and likely provoke our trading partners into retaliation.

“We urge the administration to immediately begin implementing a plan that expands use of higher blends of ethanol, as our nation’s family farmers need to be rid of burdensome stocks to start earning a decent price from the market. The administration must also avoid any plan that includes RIN credits for biofuel exports and pursue actions that restore the demand for biofuels that was lost as a result of hardship waiver handouts.”

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National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.

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