The Illinois Corn Growers Association proudly worked with U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, providing feedback on what the Illinois ethanol industry and Illinois corn farmers needed most from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator nominee Andrew Wheeler.
Wheeler’s Senate confirmation hearing was held yesterday, January 16.
Using her allotted time for questioning, Duckworth pressed Wheeler on the importance of protecting the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and ending the hardship waivers granted by the EPA in 2018.
“Over the last six months, we have also seen more ethanol plants sold, idled or closed than ever before, yet the EPA is granting large oil refining companies like Exxon and Chevron ‘hardship’ waivers that boost their profits. I asked Mr. Wheeler to immediately end this abusive practice,” Duckworth added.
Duckworth has been a vocal supporter of the 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 and to grant waivers to profitable large oil refineries and allow them to avoid having to meet RFS requirements at a time when a growing number of ethanol plants are idling.