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NBB Applauds Decision to Reject 'Gap' SRE Petitions
Missouri Ag Connection - 09/15/2020

The National Biodiesel Board Monday applauded President Trump's and EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler's decision to deny 54 of the 68 pending "gap" small refinery exemption petitions. This much-appreciated action will restore integrity to the Renewable Fuel Standard and provide much-needed certainty for America's biodiesel producers and soybean farmers.

Kurt Kovarik, NBB's vice president of federal affairs, stated, "On behalf of U.S biodiesel producers across the country, we welcome President Trump's and Administrator Wheeler's decision to deny many of the so-called gap-filling exemption petitions. The decision to deny these absurd petitions filed by refiners simply to skirt their obligations under the law is the right call. I am hopeful EPA will continue to apply this standard to the remaining gap exemptions and to future petitions. We look forward to working with the administration to restore growth in the biodiesel and renewable diesel industry and ensure that RFS volumes for biomass-based diesel are met.

"I would especially like to express the industry's gratitude to Congressional leaders such as Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), as well as to Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and many others who have effectively made the case for a lawful resolution of these gap exemption petitions."

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig added, "From CARES Act and disaster-recovery funding to blocking the latest round of retroactive biofuel blending waivers, the Trump administration continues to support Iowa farmers and our state's agriculture-based economy," said Secretary Naig. "This decision was critical to upholding the spirit of the RFS and growing demand for cleaner-burning biofuels."

"As Iowa farmers grapple with trade disruption, a global pandemic, and the aftermath of a devastating derecho, it's critical that we take action to help our ag economy. Today's decision by the Trump Administration eliminates much of the uncertainty surrounding small refinery exemptions that undercut demand for biofuels," added Reynolds.

Iowa leads the nation in renewable fuels production. The state is home to 43 ethanol refineries capable of producing over 4.5 billion gallons annually, and 12 biodiesel facilities capable of producing nearly 400 million gallons annually, according to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. The biofuels industry provides jobs in rural communities, additional markets for agricultural products, and gives consumers more choices at retail fuel sites.

U.S. Senator Deb Fischer of Nebraska, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, released the following statement after EPA Administrator Wheeler announced that the Trump Administration will reject 54 "gap" small refinery exemptions:

"President Trump and the administration made the right decision in rejecting these 54 'gap' small refinery exemptions. Farmers and ethanol producers across the Heartland now have more certainty because of this important decision. In a tough year for biofuels producers, it's encouraging to see this commitment to rural America."

Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats, biodiesel and renewable diesel are better, cleaner fuels that are available now for use in existing diesel engines without modification. NBB is the U.S. trade association representing the entire biodiesel and renewable diesel value chain, including producers, feedstock suppliers, and fuel distributors.

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