POET Biorefining discusses RFS, importance of ethanol in wake of - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

POET Biorefining discusses RFS, importance of ethanol in wake of rumors President Trump will change standard

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PRESTON, Minn. (FOX 47) -

The White House is denying President Donald Trump plans to issue an executive order to change the national biofuels program.

This comes after the U.S. Renewable Fuels Association, or RFA, said Trump's team informed the group an order was pending.

General Manager of POET Biorefining in Preston, Chris Hanson, said he actually called the White House Wednesday morning and talked with Spokeswoman Kelly Love, who reiterated that President Trump has no plans to do anything with the renewable fuel standard, which, Hanson said, is crucial for our environment.

The renewable fuel standard stems from the Clean Air Act, with the intention to give us better air to breathe.

"It defines how much ethanol we should be using. How much biofuels we should be using in our automobiles," said Hanson.

Right now, about 10 percent of all the fuel in all the cars in the U.S. are biofuel.

"It makes your air cleaner, it displaces the toxic carcinogens that would be there without the biofuel added, reduces the cost of fuel at the pump. And is great for your engine. Burns cooler, burns cleaner," explained Hanson.

On Tuesday, the RFA issued a statement saying President Donald Trump intends to sign an executive order to change the national biofuels program, a statement in which the White House denies.

Hanson said it's a backdoor deal with the RFA, created in the self-interest of oil refiner Carl Icahn.

"What they suggested doing is changing the point of obligation, and without getting into the weeds of what that does, it defines who's responsible with complying with the Clean Air Act," said Hanson.

Hanson further explained what he believes to be the situation.

“I think what we had was two people trying to promote self-interest. We had Carl Icahn looking out for his refinery, and we have the RFA looking out for its biggest member, Valero, which is an oil refiner. They were looking to cut a backroom deal, to be able to create some self-interest and bail out, on the backs of American farmers and all the Midwest and anyone who wants to breathe cleaner air or fill up their car with cheaper fuel,” explained Hanson.

But what if the change did happen? What would that mean for our country?

"The cost of the consumer goes up, no matter what kind of gasoline you're using. All the blend costs go up,” said Hanson.

He said he's confident in the White House's statement, that no changes will be made.

"All the way through the campaign trail, Donald Trump was, well now President Trump, was very supportive of biofuels. Very supportive of rural America and of the Renewable Fuel Standard. I don't see any reason, there's no indication that that's going to change," explained Hanson.

For Hanson, no change in the current RFS would mean a better future for the ones he, and all American people, love.

"If we get into a world where we want more oil and gas and coal, that's not where we're going. I want to use more biofuels, I want renewable resources, I want to keep things clean. I want the air that my kids breathe to be healthy. That's really important to me," said Hanson.

Hanson said POET in Preston produces 135,000 gallons of ethanol per year.

They also produce animal feed, carbon dioxide, and corn oil, meaning when they're done with all production, there is no waste, whatsoever.

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