March 14, 2019

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202.314.3106

WASHINGTON – For the first time in two decades, ethanol consumption declined in the United States from 2017 to 2018, according to the Renewable Fuels Association. The decline follows two years of a dramatic spike in waivers being provided to oil refiners by EPA to subvert the requirements of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The waivers have destroyed demand for at least 2.6 billion gallons of ethanol.

National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in response to the news:

“U.S. farmers and ethanol producers are struggling through the most difficult economy in years while this Administration undermines its own promises to support the ethanol industry.

“The actions on the part of the Trump Administration to subvert the will of Congress, undermine the positive growth of the U.S. biofuels industry, and destroy demand for U.S. farm products are appalling. The President has promised family farmers for well over two years now to advance the biofuels industry, and thereby expand markets for American grown farm products. Yet his actions, including these by his EPA, are to blame for significant markets being taken away from American family farmers.

“Today, on National Ag Day, EPA announced it had approved five more petitions for RFS waivers from the 2017 compliance year. This follows news from late last year that the agency had granted a waiver to a refinery owned by Exxon Mobil Corp, the largest American oil and gas corporation. The handing out of these waivers to large corporations must end immediately, and the demand that has been destroyed to date must be accounted for in future RFS obligations.”


To download an audio file of Roger Johnson’s quote, visit our website at

About NFU
National Farmers Union advocates on behalf of nearly 200,000 American farm families and their communities. We envision a world in which farm families and their communities are respected, valued, and enjoy economic prosperity and social justice.

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