POET's involvement in federal and state policy issues.

Thirty years ago, POET opened its doors as a means to lift one family farm out of the agriculture crisis. Today, we operate 30 biofuel facilities in eight states and support thousands of American jobs across the heartland. Every day, POET produces homegrown renewable energy – keeping our air cleaner and supporting our economy. We help drivers save the environment – while saving money at the fuel pump. POET is also committed to supporting public policies that reflect our passion for innovation and promote America’s continued growth as the world leader in biofuel production. Our mission is to build more sustainable world, from the ground up.


Fuel retailers want to offer their customers E15 — a federally approved fuel with 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline. It is approved for almost 90 percent of American vehicles, can save motorists money and increase a vehicle’s performance. However, an unnecessary regulation limits how most retailers can sell E15 during the summer fueling season (June 1 - September 15).

This regulation is tied to Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) — a measure of how quickly fuel evaporates. In 1990, Congress provided a one-pound RVP volatility waiver to 10 percent ethanol blends because ethanol fuels reduce tailpipe emissions. While the EPA has extended this waiver to blends below 10 percent, the agency has yet to provide RVP relief for E15.

Enacted before E15 was part of the conversation, the current rules remain hopelessly out of date, barring many drivers from accessing cleaner fuels during summer months when Americans spend the most time on the road.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), farmers are experiencing the sharpest drop in income since the Great Depression. There are over 5 billion bushels of surplus corn, wheat and soybeans dragging down global prices. To reverse this trend, agriculture needs a larger percentage of the gas tank. An RVP fix would provide an immediate outlet for America’s agricultural surplus and deliver a much-needed jolt to rural economies. To achieve this goal, POET supports bipartisan legislation, the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act (S. 517, H.R. 1311), which would allow E15 to be offered year-round.


The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is America’s most successful domestic energy policy working to lower our dependence on foreign oil, keep our air clean, and provide consumers with more affordable fuel options that are also good for engine performance.

Since its authorization under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and expansion under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the RFS has given homegrown biofuels a chance to compete at the pump, allowing consumers to select from a range of options at the gas station, including blends containing clean, homegrown ethanol.

Renewable Volume Obligations

Moving forward, a strong RFS is critical to supporting a competitive and open fuels market, benefitting our economy and consumers across the country. Efforts to repeal or weaken the RFS would undermine that progress, make the U.S. more dependent on foreign oil, and increase gas prices.

That is why thousands of POET team members and farmer investors work hand-in-hand with our neighbors across the heartland to urge members of Congress and regulators at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protect the RFS. Each year, the agency is tasked with setting annual biofuel targets, known as Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs), and it is critical that federal standards support the continued growth of U.S. biofuel production and preserve consumer options at the pump.

Point of Obligation

The RFS has worked for over 11 years to ensure that oil companies can’t lock biofuels out of the market, but some oil interests seek to undermine the policy and eliminate competition at U.S. gas stations. Recently, some refiners have sought to rewrite a key element of the RFS -- the point of obligation. Under this proposal, the responsibility for making clean, renewable biofuels available to consumers would shift from refiners and importers to fuel retailers. The change would impose a major regulatory burden on hundreds, if not thousands of fuel retailers and distributors, leading to higher consumer costs and fewer renewable options at the pump. At a time when rural communities are struggling with the sharpest drop in farm income since the Great Depression, we cannot afford to throw the RFS into chaos and eliminate the incentive for retailers to offer homgrown fuels at the pump.

Iowa Land Value Change
Benefits of the RFS:

  • Promote job creation and economic growth
    Thanks to the RFS, ethanol is now blended into 97 percent of our fuel supply, and production of homegrown fuels supports economic growth across the heartland. POET has 30 biofuel facilities in eight states. We drive $13.5 billion in sales for U.S. businesses, generate $3.1 billion in household income, and support more than 40,000 U.S. jobs. POET also contributes $460 million to state and local tax revenues and pays nearly $1.5 billion in federal taxes each year.
  • Reduce our environmental footprint
    According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, corn ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 43 percent compared to conventional gasoline. Higher blends of ethanol are also helping to reduce the need for toxic additives known to cause groundwater contamination, smog, asthma and cancer.

    These escalating climate benefits have been driven by rapid advancement in production technology and high-efficiency agricultural techniques. As a result, America’s farmers are now producing more food and energy than ever before, and they are doing it on existing cropland. In fact, the EPA estimates that the acres of total cropland in the United States has actually dropped from 402 million acres in 2007 to 379 million in 2015. Historically, farmers today grow five times as much corn as they did in the 1930s while using 20 percent less land.

    The same is true among all other measures of sustainability. In fact, between 1980 and 2011, the amount of land required to produce one bushel of corn fell by 30 percent, soil loss fell by 67 percent, water for irrigation fell by 53 percent, and energy use fell by 44 percent.
  • Lower dependence on foreign oil
    Ethanol currently meets about 10 percent of our liquid transportation fuel needs. In fact, America has cut oil imports in half since RFS was enacted in 2005, and consumers are increasingly protected from the manipulation of oil prices that has become standard operating procedure for Russia and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
  • Give consumers a choice at the pump
    The RFS gives American drivers an affordable, homegrown option at the pump. Ethanol blends can help consumers to save as much as $1.50 per gallon when oil prices spike. And consumers are demanding higher volumes of biofuel because it costs less, boosts octane for better performance and displaces dirty, cancer-causing components in gasoline.
  • Drive investments in innovation
    Time and again, research at institutions like the University of Illinois at Chicago has proven that market opportunities for biofuel have driven unprecedented advances in efficiency. These include advances in corn kernel fiber-to-ethanol conversion, the co-location of cellulosic biorefineries with ethanol plants, diversification of co-products, new corn enzyme technologies and general industrial energy efficiency improvements. The RFS also stimulates investment in second-generation biofuels, such as those produced by POET at Project Liberty in Emmetsburg, Iowa. Cellulosic ethanol produced at this cutting-edge facility can reduce emissions by 90 percent compared to gasoline. This technology creates value from the waste portion of crops left in the field, while displacing even more carcinogens in gasoline.

POET's Economic Impact


Biofuels don’t just help farmers and ethanol producers stay competitive, they keep America competitive. In fact, America is now the world’s top exporter of ethanol, supplying more than one billion gallons (68,000 barrels per day) of fuel ethanol to our trading partners in 2016, an increase of 26 percent from the previous year. In nations like China, India, Brazil, Mexico, and South Korea, foreign leaders are seeking solutions to cut air pollution and displace chemicals in gasoline that form potent carcinogens when burned. Ethanol is the only alternative that can seamlessly and cost-effectively replace fossil fuels in today’s vehicles, and POET stands ready to help meet that demand.

That is why we support efforts to educate foreign policymakers about the demonstrated benefits of ethanol and its value to drivers all over the globe. We also support ongoing efforts to expand U.S. access to foreign markets and eliminate duties, tariffs and other protectionist trade barriers that prevent U.S. exports from reaching consumers overseas.

4615 North Lewis Avenue
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
P / 605.965.2200
F / 605.965.2203

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900 7th Street NW, Suite 820
Washington, DC 20001



BIO World Congress Award Winner Jeff Broin, POET Iowa Land Value ChangeIOWA LAND VALUE CHANGE POET's Economic ImpactPOET's Economic Impact