May 31, 2019

Duckworth Statement on E15 Rule Changes


 [WASHINGTON, D.C.] — U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), a long-time advocate for the Renewable Fuel Standard and the sale of E15 year-round, released the following statement in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) release of the E15 rule, which implements Senator Duckworth’s repeated request that the Trump Administration allow drivers to fuel up with gasoline that is blended with up to 15 percent ethanol (E15) year-round:

“I have consistently demanded that the Trump Administration support Illinois farmers by finally allowing for the sale of gasoline that is blended with up to 15 percent of American-grown biofuels. So while I am pleased the EPA finally followed through on my requests, I remain deeply concerned that this rule will do little to help our farmers if the Trump Administration continues to lie to the American people and abuse small refinery exemptions. Bailing out billion dollar oil companies at the expense of hardworking American farmers goes against the goals of the Renewable Fuel Standard program and it hurts the Midwest. Our policies should always benefit hardworking Americans, not be misused to pad the profits of the well-connected and big oil companies.”

Last week, Duckworth asked the EPA Office of Inspector General to launch an independent investigation into whether top EPA officials violated the law by inappropriately exempting a number of oil refineries from having to use legally required levels of biofuel. A recent report from Reuters exposed how top EPA officials, including former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, lied to Congress and the American public about why they started granting a large number of waivers to oil refineries, which drove down prices of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINS) to multi-year lows. Duckworth has also called attention to how Trump friend and former Trump White House advisor Carl Icahn may have violated federal law by trying to use his White House position to influence the application of the Renewable Fuel Standard to benefit a refinery he owns and she has previously asked the FBI and Department of Justice to launch an investigation.

Duckworth has also been a strong supporter of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which supports a $5 billion biofuel industry in Illinois that employs more than 4,000 people. She has joined farmers across Illinois in urging the EPA to adopt higher ethanol-based fuel requirements and she has been critical of efforts within the Trump Administration to undermine it by shifting the point of obligation for meeting the RFS from oil refiners to blenders.