As the harvest winds down, I write out of concern for farmers, like me, across the Midwest. Over the past few years, we've been hurt by decreased demand for biofuels, due largely to small refinery exemptions (SREs) by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These exemptions have been abused as a loophole for big oil companies, like Exxon and Chevron, helping them push biofuels out of the market at the expense of America's farmers.
This is why we were encouraged that President Trump recommitted to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Unfortunately, that promise is being undermined by bureaucrats at the EPA, who announced a new rulemaking that directly contradicts the president's pledge. By using outdated figures from the Department of Energy, the EPA is proposing to ignore the actual gallons lost to special exemptions and the economic damage to U.S. farmers.
While big oil can afford to flood DC with lobbyists and campaign contributions, we in the grain belt deserve to be heard. The EPA should visit the heartland and see firsthand the impacts of decreased corn demand. I urge President Trump to step in and demand the EPA uphold his promise to rural America - and revive the vitality that has driven our community for generations.