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RFS Announcement Restores “Integrity” That Biofuels Program Had Before Trump’s Damage

Naturally, Donald Trump’s stooges tell us that the White House’s Friday announcement about some kind of sop to ethanol is hunky-dory:

Today’s announcement is great news for corn and corn ethanol producers in South Dakota, who have suffered from the EPA’s issuance of Small Refinery Exemptions (SRE) over the past several years. By taking steps to restore the integrity of Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), family farms and ethanol plants will be spared further loss and their threat of having to close shop is greatly reduced. Jobs in rural America will be saved [Senator M. Michael Rounds, press release, 2019.10.05].

Congressman Dusty Johnson also speaks of preserving the “integrity” of the Renewable Fuel Standard:

Today’s announcement is a win for South Dakota farmers, ethanol producers and anyone that cares about a strong rural economy and job growth. I’m proud of the coalition of farm-state members that made it clear that we must maintain the integrity of the RFS as Congress intended.

By maintaining the integrity of the RFS and preventing the abuse of Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs), as well as forward-looking proposals that cut red tape and build biofuel infrastructure, the Administration showed they are committed to rural America [Rep. Dusty Johnson, press release, 2019.10.04].

Senator John Thune leads with the same note:

U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today issued the following statement after the administration announced that it has reached a deal to restore integrity to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by accounting for the issuance of small refinery exemptions when setting future ethanol blending targets [Sen. John Thune, press release, 2019.10.04].

Finally, something gets our members of Congress to talk about integrity.

But note that when they talk about integrity, our MOCs are only talking about getting the White House to stop damaging the ag economy. Friday’s announcement only promises, without details or a firm commitment or timeline, to get us back to the RFS that the Obama Administration implemented and make up for the favors Trump has done for oil refiners against the advice of his own Energy Department.

Going back to the Obama status quo is better than a kick in the pants, but Glacial Lakes Energy CEO Jim Seurer says Trump’s announcement falls short of a real plan to help the Trump-battered agriculture and biofuel industries:

“As you back away from this, there are not a lot of hard-and-fast details, and there’s really no increase in volume that we didn’t really have before,” Seurer said.

He said the ethanol industry already exceeds the requirement by producing 16 billion to 17 billion gallons of renewable fuel each year.

Seurer expressed concern that the Trump administration’s announcement falls short of addressing a more pressing issue in allowing the nation to adopt and purchase higher ethanol blends. He also said ethanol advocates missed an opportunity to solicit more support for higher ethanol blends, which he said would lead to better air quality.

“In my opinion, this falls short of what we could have had and what we should have. That’s open and free access to higher blends like E30 to the market,” Seurer said. “My fear about all of this is that the industry has locked themselves into a 15 percent maximum (ethanol) blend when in Watertown and most of northeast South Dakota we’ve been able to prove we can go up to at least a 30 percent blend [Elisa Sand, “Trump Renewable Fuels Standard Announcement Draws Mixed Review {paywall},” Aberdeen American News, 2019.10.04].

Don’t be fooled, farmers: Trump’s RFS announcement isn’t about doing anything new; it’s just a promise to go back to the deal you got under President Barack Obama. If that’s all you wanted, why did you vote for a guy who kicks you for two years, then expects you to praise him when he stops kicking you for a moment?


  1. jerry 2019-10-07 07:54

    Rounds/Thune/and Dirty get their weekly reader texts from the same wordsmith. Weekly readers mostly have forgotten how President Obama looked out for them and their farming industry for their profits and for markets. How many more bailouts before 2020 elections is anyone’s guess, but there has to be more bribes as the bottom is falling out on the smaller outfits.

  2. Debbo 2019-10-07 22:46

    “In my great and unmatched wisdom…”

    Seriously farmers. These are the words of Demented Dotard, whom nearly all of you voted for in 2016. He actually used those exact words in public, in a tweet. Look what his “great and unmatched wisdom” is doing for you. China is already moving on from the US as a trading partner. Chinese farmers are breeding enormous hogs of more than 1000 pounds so they won’t have to import as much pork.

    After the 2020 election you won’t get a cent from Economic Eunuch because he will have used you up. He’ll have gotten your votes and there won’t be anything else he can use you for so you’ll be tossed aside like one of his ex-wives.

    The US needs you independent farmers on your own land running your own farms. Don’t vote for that awful person again or you’ll be gone.

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