To the editor:
The political significance of Wisconsin is clear with frequent visits by both President Trump and Vice President Pence. Given the focus on our economic recovery and Wisconsin’s role as the nation’s eighth-largest producer of biofuels, I’d like to hear them announce steps to restore hope for our biofuel producers and farmers.
Despite the administration’s past promise to support biofuels, the industry has repeatedly come under attack by bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency. Over the last few years, the number of refinery exemptions granted has quadrupled, allowing major oil companies to skirt the Renewable Fuel Standard and push ethanol out of the market. Without the RFS, there would be little to no access to ethanol in what amounts to a monopolized fuel market. These harmful waivers have already destroyed over four billion gallons of ethanol demand. To make it worse, the agency is considering 67 additional retroactive exemptions — dating back to 2011 — that would destroy billions more. At a time when farmers and biofuels workers are reeling from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, granting new waivers would deal a devastating blow.
As a corn farmer, it’s hard to overstate the importance of biofuels. Approximately twice as much corn flows through ethanol plants versus exports. The biofuels industry in Wisconsin supports over 30,000 families, and it fuels the success of rural economies across the state. The administration must maintain its promise to support biofuels, and in doing so, help move Wisconsin forward.
— Kevin Malchine, Waterford