Americans for Energy Security and Innovation (AESI) Co-Chairs Jim Talent and Rick Santorum cautioned the White House against approving Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s reported plan to delay E15 expansion and dismantle the Renewable Fuel Standard via continued waivers and export credits, in a joint statement issued June 5.
“Someone in the administration is giving the president very bad advice, and the damage threatens to send rural America into an economic spiral. Farm income has fallen 52% in the last five years, and communities across the heartland are struggling, particularly those where voters turned out strong for President Trump.
“These are the same families who are bearing the burden of rising export barriers in disputes over trade. If EPA Administrator Pruitt’s step-by-step destruction of the U.S. biofuel sector continues, the blame will fall squarely on those who failed to act.
“News reports and polls show that rural voters are watching, waiting, and hoping. President Trump and GOP leaders in Congress cannot afford to let them down.
“The president vowed to uphold the RFS because it means more manufacturing jobs in the heartland, a stronger rural economy, and lower fuel prices for American drivers. It creates competition at the pump that is not vulnerable to manipulation by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and it has made America the world leader in biofuel production. If the EPA is allowed to dismantle biofuel targets under the RFS, those benefits could evaporate.
“Refiners can already blend ethanol for free or purchase credits at bargain basement prices. Unlike America’s farmers, their profits are soaring. The EPA plan protects waivers for oil companies while keeping a low-cost E15 off the market for another summer, just as gas prices spike. Worse, a refinery-backed export gimmick would actually subsidize fuel for drivers overseas. The proposal is not only an insult to U.S. farmers, it threatens to put American jobs in the crosshairs for the next round of retaliatory tariffs.
“Secretary Sonny Perdue has joined lawmakers from across the Midwest in calling for an end to the regulatory gimmicks, but Administrator Pruitt seems to be ignoring appeals from rural America. If the White House disagrees, the time to act is running out.”
Source: Americans for Energy Security and Innovation