February 22, 2021

Duckworth Applauds Biden Administration’s Renewable Fuel Standard Decision Supporting Farmers and Rural Communities

Decision comes weeks after Duckworth led an effort calling on the administration to take such action


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today released the following statement after the Biden Administration announced it would drop the previous administration’s opposition to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) small refinery provisions. The Biden Administration’s decision supports farmers and rural communities by effectively ending Trump Administration efforts to undermine RFS provisions in a manner that helped big oil companies at the expense of the small refineries the law was intended to support.

“Farmers across Illinois and throughout the Midwest are hurting and ethanol plants remain idled as a result of the Trump Administration’s sustained abuses of the bipartisan RFS small refinery exemption program. This move by President Biden is a good step that will help our nation’s farmers and rural communities while helping boost local economies and alleviate the climate crisis. I’m so proud that the Biden Administration heeded our call to quickly halt and reverse the Trump Administration’s efforts to harm small refiners.”

Duckworth has been a long-time advocate for the RFS and for recent policy changes to allow drivers to fuel up with gasoline that is blended with up to 15 percent ethanol (E15) throughout the year. Last month, she wrote to then President-elect Biden requesting this step be taken soon after his inauguration. She also raised the issue when speaking with Michael Regan, President Biden’s nominee to be Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Duckworth introduced the RFS Integrity Act of 2019 to make applications for small refinery exemptions (SRE) public and create more certainty for rural America, and called on the former administration to help rural Americans and uphold the intent of the RFS. In 2020, Duckworth also called on EPA to reject petitions for SREs under the new RFS for past compliance years.