The renewable fuels industry is expressing frustration with action inside the Environmental Protection Agency on biodiesel. Monte Shaw, the executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, warns it could have a “ripple effect” on the federal ethanol mandate.
“The president says: ‘I support renewable fuels. I want them to be part of our “America First” energy plan,’ and you have an EPA that is doing everything in its power to come up with convoluted pretzel logic to lower the numbers and to rip the heart out of the RFS.”
The EPA’s administrator yesterday released new reasons for rolling back the federally-mandated amount of biodiesel that must be produced in 2018.
“It really appears that the EPA and Administrator Pruitt know the answer they want, which is to gut the RFS, and they’re just looking around for a justification to do it because (they’ve said): ‘if we have foreign biodiesel coming in, cut the number’ and ‘if we don’t have foreign biodiesel coming in, cut the number.’ That type of circular logic to get you to the answer you want is very frustrating and I can tell you it’s got the renewable fuels industry buzzing today.”
This is “not at all” a positive development, according to Shaw.
“It may be time for rural America to ring the alarm bell and say: ‘Hey, we need a course correction here,'” Shaw says. “‘This is not what we were promised by the president.'”
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican, gave a speech on the Senate floor last (Tuesday) night, blasting the EPA’s latest proposal on biodiesel. Grassley calls it a “bait and switch” maneuver on behalf of “Big Oil.” And Grassley says it’s time for Pruitt to “keep his word” and fulfill the promises he made when Trump nominated him to lead the EPA.