Advocates and experts have converged in Washington, D.C. this week for Growth Energy’s annual Biofuels Summit to advocate for biofuels in our nation’s capital. To help prepare for them for their meetings, we invited U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), and U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (D-17-IL) to speak on the importance of ethanol for our rural communities:

U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney

USDA Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney updated attendees on the state of the global ethanol outlook, and some of the efforts he has undertaken to help open new markets for ethanol fuel and agricultural products. He also underscored the critical role that trade agreements, including the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, will have in setting the stage to ensure free and fair markets around the globe.

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA)

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) briefed attendees on the importance of upholding the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard and the status of biofuel talks with the administration. Ernst was awarded a Fueling Growth Award for her efforts in support of biofuels and our industry.

I know how important this industry is not only to the United States, and the great state of Iowa in my case, but also to the growth of our nation’s industries overall. We need to tell folks how devastating [SREs] are – to our farmers, our ethanol producers, and our biodiesel producers.

U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (D-17-IL)

U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (D-17-IL) gave attendees an overview of the status of key biofuels legislation and underscored the bipartisan importance that ethanol holds for our nation. Bustos was also awarded a Fueling Growth Award for her efforts to support biofuels in our nation’s capital, including her plan to combat climate change and spur economic growth through the Rural Green Partnership, which expands the use of biofuels to reduce green house gas emissions by optimizing fuel standards.

We are now at a point where the number of waivers that have been handed out are quadruple what had been handed out before. It is an abomination of how all of this was written and designed, and it is happening on your back – an industry that could be and should be thriving.

During the most important industry fly-in of the year, we are proud to welcome such staunch biofuels advocates. Be sure to stay tuned to our social media channels, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, to follow the action throughout the week.

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The US Environmental Protection Agency's @EPA ruling allowing #American drivers to fuel up with #E15 all year round celebrates its first anniversary this week. #biofuels #bioethanol #landmarkdecision https://t.co/1Zdb82lg98 https://t.co/Hmtmzp4Ito

via @biofuelsmag

Yesterday marked one year since the EPA allowed U.S. drivers to fuel up with E15 year-round. Check https://t.co/0yP1msVVP0 or https://t.co/lPP8aX0YL6 to find unleaded 88 fuel near you and celebrate a full year of #E15 with a full tank #YearRoundE15 #Ethanol https://t.co/XcfzS8RGGU

via @DuPontBiobased

I’m celebrating a full year of #e15 - a full tank!  Go to https://t.co/uZDmBT0CoB to find the fuel near you.  #YearRoundE15 #UNL88 https://t.co/TcO7eex465

via @kaderex79

It's been one year since the regulatory barrier was lifted allowing year-round sales of #E15. We've seen growth in the market & look forward to continued expansion as we continue to bring higher #ethanol blends to the pump. https://t.co/A6xDjSMNyj #Zymer https://t.co/JEBgQcjp6Z

via @docgoges