With the Biden administration considering a possible cut in Renewable Fuel Standard volumes to bring down gasoline prices, some say he is breaking a campaign promise.
Congress created the renewable fuel standard program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and expand the nation’s renewable fuels sector and become less dependent on foreign oil.
The idea of cutting volumes comes at a time when Biden is making a push to cut carbon emissions. Ethanol industry leaders continue to make a case that ethanol is part of the solution and not part of the problem.
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville), co-chair of the House Biofuels Caucus, has called on the president to keep his word to farmers.
“This administration is headed down a dangerous path as it continues to pass up opportunities to uphold the Renewable Fuel Standard and support America’s ethanol and biodiesel producers,” Davis said.
Davis said he and other Republicans sent a letter to the president regarding rumors the administration was considering a nationwide waiver of the RFS to cut demand for more combined gallons than all those cut due to the Small Refinery Exemptions issued by the prior administration and encouraged the president to keep his 2020 promises and uphold the law.
Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor recently testified to the House Committee on Agriculture Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy and Credit that the industry is waiting to see whether the Biden administration will support the RFS.
"The first real test of the administration's commitment to follow through on many of Mr. Biden's comments stated on the campaign trail is with renewable volume obligations," Skor said. "We have yet to see those we are anxiously awaiting."
The biofuels industry is big business in Illinois. The state is No. 3 in the nation for ethanol production capacity and No. 2 for biodiesel.
“Opportunities for trade, our domestic uses become even more important and biofuels is one of them,” said Adam Nielsen, national legislative director with the Illinois Farm Bureau. “It is right in our backyard, as we have a number of plants right here in Illinois.”