Home 5 Ag Stories IRFA backs Rep. Hinson-led Defend the Blend Act

IRFA backs Rep. Hinson-led Defend the Blend Act

Photo by Brent Barnett

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association is supporting legislation introduced in the U.S. House Tuesday that would prohibit the EPA from reducing ethanol blending requirements once the Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) levels are finalized for any given year.

IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw tells IARN that the bill – introduced by Iowa Congresswoman Ashley Hinson alongside Reps. Rodney Davis of Illinois, Angie Craig of Minnesota, and Ron Kind of Wisconsin – would prevent the EPA from retroactively reducing 2020 RVO levels.

“We appreciate Representative Hinson’s leadership on this, and I think it got the support of our entire delegation and I know it’s a bipartisan bill as well,” Shaw said. “It’s really unfortunate that we have to do this. The EPA has always said when they do an annual renewable fuels standard rule that sets the levels for the next year, that’s it, it’s done, and they aren’t going to go back and modify it. There are safety valves in each one of those rules if things happen like COVID and there’s other things that allow it to automatically adjust. Now, it’s been reported – we don’t know yet – but it’s been reported that the Biden EPA is thinking about going back and retroactively lowering the numbers for 2020 which would destroy hundreds of millions if not over a billion gallons of biofuels demand right when we can least afford it.”

Shaw says it’s important for Iowa farmers to let their representatives know that they support the RFS and the benefits it brings to the market.

“We just went through a growing season that was less than ideal and yet if the USDA projections are right, we are going to haul in the second largest corn crop we’ve ever had,” Shaw said. “That corn needs a home, and it needs a market. At a time with high gas prices, where better to put it in than high-octane, low-cost ethanol? It would help the farmers, it would help the motorists have lower gas price options, and it would help the country whether you are talking about energy independence, economic development or reducing carbon.”

Congresswoman Hinson’s bill has been endorsed by a large number of farm groups including the American Farm Bureau, Growth Energy, POET, ADM, National Corn Growers Association and more.