Greenfield: “Wheeler Must Step Down Immediately” Following Reports of 52 New RFS Waivers

Today, businesswoman and U.S. Senate candidate Theresa Greenfield joined rural advocates to hold Senator Joni Ernst accountable for her disastrous record of failing to protect Iowa’s farm economy and biofuels industry after accepting more than $420,000 from Big Oil.

On a virtual press conference call with Focus on Rural America co-founder and former Iowa Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge, fifth-generation Iowa farmer and former U.S. Department of Agriculture official Tim Gannon, and Iowa press, Theresa spotlighted Senator Ernst’s vote to confirm fossil fuel lobbyist Andrew Wheeler to run the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — despite his “explicit promises” to continue granting renewable fuel standard waivers to oil refiners at the expense of Iowa farmers and biofuel producers.

Here’s what Theresa is calling for today, in response to reports that the EPA is considering as many as 52 new RFS waivers dating all the way back to 2011:

  1. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler must step down immediately.
  2. EPA needs to release a full accounting of the RFS waivers currently under consideration.
  3. The U.S. Senate must take immediate action to pass more direct relief for Iowa’s biofuel industry.

“Senator Ernst said she’d be different. She said she’d make ‘em squeal,” said Greenfield. “But after nearly a full term in the Senate, hardworking Iowans are the only ones squealing and our ethanol and corn producers are under attack. Today, I’m calling for Administrator Wheeler to step down immediately, and for Senator Ernst to stand up to her Big Oil donors and join me in calling for his resignation. Iowa’s farm communities and biofuel producers deserve answers for why Senator Ernst voted for a fossil fuel lobbyist to run the EPA in the first place. We’re going to keep holding her accountable from now through November.”

Previously, Senator Ernst has attempted to rewrite her record of support for Wheeler by suggesting that she would call for his firing if he failed to protect Iowa’s farmers and biofuels producers. But as the industry faces unprecedented hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic, haphazard trade policies, and the last 85 RFS waivers the EPA granted to oil refiners, Senator Ernst has failed to make good on that threat.

In addition to voting for Wheeler’s confirmation and accepting more than $420,000 from Big Oil, Senator Ernst has taken more than $1.9 million from corporate PACs. Theresa Greenfield is not accepting one dime of corporate PAC money, and is running to put Iowa first.

In addition to postponing in-person events, the Greenfield for Iowa campaign is taking precautions by having all staff work remotely and encouraging social distancing practices at all times. For more information on Iowa’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, please visit the Iowa Department of Public Health website.

###