September 03, 2019

Duckworth Tours Marquis Energy, Highlights Harm Caused by Trump’s RFS Waivers


[HENNEPIN, IL] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today visited Marquis Energy, meeting with its leaders and touring the ethanol facility, highlighting the importance of ethanol production to our nation’s economy and the damage being caused by the Trump Administration’s inappropriate use of small refinery waivers for major producers. Waivers issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the small refinery exemptions (SRE) program are intended to help small refineries, but under the Trump Administration, the EPA has undermined the original intent of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by issuing dozens of waivers, including to large and profitable oil companies like Exxon and Chevron. Marquis Energy is the largest dry-mill ethanol facility in the United States. Photos from today’s meeting and tour are available here.

“We should be doing all that we can to encourage the use of American-made renewable fuel, not increasing our dependence on foreign oil,” Duckworth said. “Expanding the Renewable Fuel Standard is a good way to do this, but instead the Trump Administration has continued to bail out billion dollar oil companies at the expense of American farmers. I’m proud of the work Marquis Energy is doing here in Illinois and I’ll keep doing what I can in Washington to support the biofuel industry and our farmers.”

Duckworth has been long-time advocate for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which supports a $5 billion biofuel industry in Illinois that employs more than 4,000 people, 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. In June, Duckworth introduced the RFS Integrity Act of 2019 to make applications for small refinery exemptions (SRE) public and create more certainty for rural America.  Duckworth has also written to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to urge him to stop abusing so-called “hardship” waivers, and 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, which has driven down prices of Renewable Identification Numbers to multi-year lows.