Iowa Congressman Randy Feenstra says the renewable fuel recommendations from the Biden Administration are a combination of positives and negatives. Feenstra, a Republican from Hull, supports the EPA’s recommended ethanol production mandate.
“The EPA proposed the Renewable Fuels Standard to stay at 15 billion gallons for 2023 and then going up in 2024 and 2025 to go up to 15.2 billion gallons, without waivers,” Feenstra said during an interview with KMA. “This is a really big thing.”
In the past, the federal government granted some oil refineries waivers, so they did not have to blend ethanol into gasoline.
Feenstra considers one downside of the EPA’s plan is the agency is recommending the production goal for soybean-based biodiesel remain the same for the next three years. “Right now, we are in a diesel crunch,” Feenstra said. “There’s a lot of shortage with diesel and here the EPA had the great opportunity of doing something biodiesel and didn’t.”
The EPA is also proposing a new program for electric vehicle manufacturers. It basically would create renewable fuel credits for the electricity used to make EVs.
“It’s called an eRIN credit. Completely ridiculous,” Feenstra said. “Obviously, we like our (vehicles) that can use E85 and that can use E15 and B10, B11 diesel, things like that. Here we have an EPA that’s just been liberalized and pushing the electric vehicle mantra.”
Others have suggested the electric vehicle industry could be an ally to ag interests battling the oil industry’s aim to get rid of the Renewable Fuel Standard. The EPA will host a virtual hearing on January 10 to give the public a chance to comment on its three year plan related to ethanol, biodiesel and electric vehicle production.
(Additional reporting by Mike Peterson, KMA, Shenandoah)