Continuing our series on candidates running for Minnesota's congressional seats and where they stand on biofuels, we head to Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District today where Rep. Dean Phillips is running against Kendall Qualls. Only Phillips responded to our queries.
Dean Phillips (D)
Q. What is your position concerning the current state of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)? Should the EPA follow the 10th Circuit Federal Court's decision regarding Small Refinery Exemption (SRE) waivers and reject current, future and gap year SRE applications from the oil industry?
A. The Renewable Fuel Standard has generated jobs, made fuel more affordable, andhelped lead us to a clean future. We need to uphold the RFS and stop handouts of small refinery waivers, which the current Administration has sought in order to help oil refiners. The EPA should follow the 10th Circuit's ruling, only allowing Small Refinery Exemptions to those refiners that had secured them continuously each year since 2010.
Q. Given the large number of spark ignition-powered vehicles on the road and the need to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector, what is your position concerning a possible Low Carbon High Octane Fuel Standard to replace more petroleum with greater amounts of renewable ethanol?
A. Yes, we need to use every tool in our toolbox to address the threat of climate change, including new clean fuels policies. A Low Carbon High Octane Fuel Standard would help to lower our carbon footprint and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions significantly.
Q. The Covid-19 pandemic has severely affected Minnesota's ethanol industry. At one point, plants were shutdown while others had to significantly reduce production. While production has begun to approach pre-pandemic levels, Minnesota’s ethanol producers are still facing severe financial distress. Would you support financial aid to Minnesota’s ethanol producers?
A. Yes, I voted for the HEROES Act (HR 6800) which would provide dedicated relief for biofuel producers by establishing the Renewable Fuel Reimbursement Program . The program provides a 45 cent per gallon payment for qualified fuel produced by eligible producers from Jan. 1, 2020, through May 1, 2020. Qualified fuel includes any renewable fuel or advanced biofuel that qualifies as biofuel under the Renewable Fuel Standard, including corn ethanol.
Q. Do you support making higher ethanol blends, such as E15, available across Minnesota and the United States through infrastructure funding?
A. Yes, providing the critical infrastructure and funding to help increase consumer choice at the pump is essential to helping reduce gas prices and drive growth in our local economy.
Election 2020 Archive:
US House Candidates:
MN District 2: Angie Craig, Tyler Kistner
MN Senate Candidates:
District 49: Melisa Lopez Franzen
MN House Candidates:
District 01A: Connie Lindstrom
District 09B : Ron Kresha, Laura Wright
District 23A : Patricia Fahey Bacon