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Rounds, Colleagues Send Letter Urging President Biden to Support Biofuels, RFS

WASHINGTON – Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and four other senators sent a letter to President Biden urging his administration to support the biofuels industry and not undercut the Renewal Fuel Standard (RFS). With reports indicating the Biden Administration is weighing bailouts for Big Oil and undermining the RFS, the group of senators reminded the president of his statements during his presidential campaign supporting the biofuel industry and the family farmers who rely on it.

“While we are aware of the power of the oil lobby, and its efforts to influence your administration, I urge you not to bend to their demands to undercut the RFS, by either reducing annual blending obligations, or any by other means that destroys demand for clean renewable ethanol and biodiesel,” the senators wrote. “The farmers and biofuel industries in our states would welcome the same access to your National Climate Advisor to discuss shared priorities.”

“During your campaign for President, you indicated your support for biofuel and your intent to ‘promote and advance renewable energy, ethanol and other biofuel.’ […] Yet now that you are president, having no doubt heard the same tired and debunked complaints from big oil refiners about the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) harming them, you are reportedly considering bailouts for these refineries, which would undermine the biofuel industry and the family farmers who rely on it.”

Rounds has been a longtime champion of South Dakota’s biofuel producers and farmers and a defender of the RFS. In April, Rounds urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reject requests to waive or reduce the minimum amount of renewable fuels required in motor fuel in 2021 and 2022 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).