The National Wildlife Federation

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Trump Action Will Exacerbate Water Pollution, Loss of Wildlife Habitat

WASHINGTON, D.C. — New concessions to the ethanol industry unveiled today by the Trump Administration vividly highlight how irreparably broken the Renewable Fuel Standard is — and how it is fueling disasters for America’s waterways, wildlife habitat, and climate.

“These concessions to well-lobbied interests only further expose how broken the ethanol mandate is and the skyrocketing costs to prop it up. At the end of the day, these proposals will only fuel the continued conversion of prairies to croplands, expose everyday Americans to farm runoff, pollute drinking water supplies, undermine hunting and outdoor recreation throughout the country, and fragment wildlife habitat,” said David DeGennaro, agriculture policy specialist for the National Wildlife Federation. “Policymakers should reform the Renewable Fuel Standard by putting the environment and clean drinking water at the center of the discussion. Only then will the nation be able to advance clean fuels the right way so that farmers and the environment both come out ahead.”

Fixing the Renewable Fuel Standard is a top priority for the National Wildlife Federation. The federal program has led to the destruction of wildlife habitat, including large swaths of the American prairie, and contributed to large increases of agricultural pollution in water bodies.

The action by the Trump Administration comes weeks after the D.C. District Court of Appeals reprimanded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failing to follow the law and instructed the agency to make sure that the ethanol mandate does not harm threatened or endangered species. The U.S. EPA itself cited hundreds of scientific studies in a 2018 report that the ethanol mandate was likely harming the environment.

Read more about the National Wildlife Federation’s work to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard at ethanol.nwf.org

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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

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