Photo Credit: Iowa Biodiesel Board

Photo: Iowa Biodiesel Board

Iowa Soybean Farmers, Biodiesel Producers Support EPA Waiver Denial, Improved RFS Accountability

April 8, 2022 | Robb Ewoldt

EPA’s denial of RFS waivers is positive, but agency fails to heal past demand wounds.

Ankeny, Iowa – The Biden Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday (April 7) reversed and denied 31 small refinery exemptions from 2018. The action came after a coalition of biofuels organizations including Clean Fuels Alliance America sued over the original August 2019 decision to grant them. EPA in December 2021 asked the Court to remand the exemptions, and the Court set today as a deadline for EPA to reconsider them. However, the EPA is also allowing the 31 refineries to write off the compliance obligations for 2018.

Robb Ewoldt, ISA president and soybean farmer from Davenport, issued the following statement:

“The EPA’s announcement Thursday is a slight of hand. On the one, they admit that petroleum companies circumvented the law that provides more Americans more options for accessing home-grown biofuels like biodiesel. But then, they fail to hold them accountable. The result of the 2018 exemptions represents lost market share for almost 200 million gallons of biodiesel and renewable diesel.

“At a time when biofuels demand holds the key for lowering carbon emissions and increasing access to locally-produced and sourced biofuels, our federal agencies continue to get it wrong on the standard. It’s long past time to stop playing games with our nation’s biofuels policy and bring certainty and stability to this important consumer-driven market that’s good for the environment and America’s national security.

“While we appreciate that EPA has reaffirmed a previous court ruling that EPA lacked the authority to grant the small refinery exemptions to begin with, EPA should now apply this thinking to the many remaining exemption requests. As fuel prices rise, the need to diversify our nation’s fuel supply becomes ever more apparent. Biodiesel is here to help us do that immediately, while supporting our farmers and domestic manufacturing industries.”


Not funded by the soybean checkoff

The Iowa Soybean Association ( is “Driven To Deliver” increased soybean demand through market development and new uses, farmer-focused research and results, timely information and know-how and policy initiatives enabling farmers and the industry to flourish. Founded in 1964 by farmers to serve farmers, ISA is governed by a board of 22 farmers to advocate on behalf of the state’s 40,000 soybean producers, including more than 15,000 ISA farmer members and industry stakeholders.