Dear Editor: Voters across the heartland are hearing a lot of talk from politicians right now, but we need action to help our rural communities get back on their feet. Our elected officials in Washington can lead on biofuels policy and help an industry that supports roughly 30,000 Wisconsin families.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s secret refinery waivers have been a major source of the industry’s pain. Big oil companies have used the waivers as a workaround to the Renewable Fuel Standard’s requirement that certain levels of ethanol be mixed into fuel blends. And while the agency’s recent rejection of 54 "gap-year" exemptions was a step in the right direction, it must still reject 17 additional retroactive requests and 33 waivers for 2019 and 2020. Over 4 billion gallons of ethanol demand have already been destroyed by these harmful exemptions, and billions more would be lost if additional applications are granted.
From farmers to producer plants, Wisconsin’s biofuels industry is ready to lead the way forward, but we need Washington to stop impeding our progress. This is a critical time for the industry, and we’re asking for concrete solutions.
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