Heitkamp urges Wheeler to protect the RFS, allow year-round E15

By Erin Voegele | July 17, 2018

On July 12, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., urged Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to protect the Renewable Fuel Standard and live up to the administration’s commitment to a strong RFS and the year-round sale of E15. Heitkamp also invited Wheeler to visit North Dakota to see firsthand the impact of EPA policies on farmers, ranchers and energy producers in the state.

“The former EPA administrator did not keep his commitment to protect biofuels and promote the yearlong sale of E15, so it’s essential that we make it crystal clear to the new Acting Director of the EPA that we expect promises made to be promises kept,” Heitkamp said. “I’m inviting Acting Administrator Wheeler to visit North Dakota to see firsthand the impact that EPA policies have on jobs and our rural economy – from corn, soybean, and canola farmers to ethanol producers like Red Trail Energy in Richardton, which I recently visited. The EPA shapes policy that affects a wide swath of North Dakota’s economy, and I look forward to working with the new Acting Director on pragmatic solutions to our energy, agriculture, and environmental challenges.”

In a letter to Wheeler, Heitkamp said it encouraging that the EPA made its statutory deadline in releasing the proposed renewable volume obligations (RVOs) for the RFS, but said it is concerning that the uncertainty regarding EPA’s improper use of small refiner hardship waivers was not addressed. She also expressed disappointment that the administration has failed to live up to its commitment to support year-long E15 sales, which continues to threaten farmers and biofuel producers.

“Continuing to propose incremental adjustments to the annual RVOs while simultaneously undermining the RFS via improper refinery waivers does not constitute the strong support for the RFS and biofuels that Congress continually demands,” Heitkamp wrote. “I urge you to quickly and transparently resolve the issue surrounding improperly granted waivers and to formally propose grating E15 a Reid vapor pressure waiver allowing for sale year-round.”

A full copy of the letter, which also addresses the Clean Power Plan and Waters of the United States regulations, can be downloaded from Heitkamp’s website