The renewable fuels industry had its victories and took its share of lumps in 2019. We saw E15 approved for year-round purchasing. However, the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) did not get the transparency and support we hoped for as it pertains to Small Refinery Exemptions (SRE’s). Even after there was an oval office agreement to do just that, the Environmental Protection Agency went ahead and changed the deal. The trust level between the ethanol industry and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has all but disintegrated. However, to paraphrase those famous movie trailers, one man is willing to work on repairing that trust.
Audio: Monte Shaw’s full address to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit was held in Altoona on Thursday. Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Executive Director Monte Shaw recapped 2019 and laid out the agenda for 2020. He talked about how the EPA could still repair the trust lost with the biofuels industry. If EPA actually upholds the 15-billion-gallon level in the RFS, it will be the first time since 2013.
It’s this continued abuse of the RFS that has led to the level of mistrust with the EPA. Shaw says he is willing to help rebuild that trust, but EPA must start living up to its word. Shaw said working together to rebuild this trust is in the best interest of the country.
Shaw’s most poignant quote talked about the wins and losses of 2019, and the hard lesson they have learned in working with this administration. It served to motivate attendees to never back down.
The biofuels industry is frustrated but focused. Shaw said, “the policy seeds have been planted to grow into meaningful opportunities for biofuels producers and farmers. Now it is up to the Trump Administration to take the necessary steps to harvest the possibilities.”