Farmers Union disturbed at reports that EPA issued RFS waivers to large refiners
April 4, 2018
ST. PAUL – According to Reuters, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exempted one of the nation’s largest oil refining companies from having to comply with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in 2016. The agency granted “hardship waivers” to three of the refiners’ operations despite the corporation’s net profits of $1.5 billion last year.
National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson called the alleged actions “deeply disturbing,” noting that waiving RFS requirements for large refining corporations undercuts the effectiveness of the law. Farmers Union is a staunch proponent of the RFS and its benefits to family farmers and their communities.
“Granting waivers to large refiners directly undercuts the effectiveness of the RFS law, which was designed to increase demand for American-grown biofuels,” said Johnson. “‘Hardship waivers’ weren’t designed for large corporations who net billions in profit each year… Farmers Union requests EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt cease granting these waivers. The administration must uphold its numerous promises to family farmers and rural communities to support the RFS.”
In Minnesota, ethanol is a major industry, supported by corn growers dealing with a major oversupply that’s driving down the prices they receive for their product.
“Minnesota Farmers Union has supported a strong RFS for years,” said MFU President Gary Wertish. “It provides another market option for corn growers and reduces the cost of fuel to consumers. We strongly oppose any measures taken by the administration to decrease the use of biofuels in our fuel supply. President Trump promised rural Americans he would uphold the RFS and must ensure that Administrator Pruitt does so as well.”
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Minnesota Farmers Union—Standing for Agriculture, Fighting for Farmers