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Ethanol Applauds EPA RVO Announcement, Biodiesel Disappointed

02 December, 2017, 00:35 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Protecting the Renewable Fuel Standard is a priority for officials from corn-producing states as shown by this sign at an RFS rally in Iowa a few years ago

While campaigning for president in 2016, Trump promised to support renewable fuels.

The final EPA rule sets the target for conventional renewable fuels - primarily ethanol - at 15B gallons - in 2018, but rejects pleas from biodiesel producers as it maintains a 2.1B gallon quota for biodiesel in 2019.

"Maintaining the renewable fuel standard at current levels ensures stability in the marketplace and follows through with my commitment to meet the statutory deadlines and lead the agency by upholding the rule of law", said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

The Renewable Fuel Association, a biofuels industry group, said it was pleased EPA didn't scale back the levels, but argued the Renewable Fuel Standard needs to be a "forward-looking program" to drive investment in new technologies.

On Thursday, the EPA chose to require refiners to blend 19.29 billion gallons of renewable fuels in 2018, up from 19.28 billion gallons this year.

The cellulosic mandate is an increase from the July proposal, but represents a cut of 23 billion gallons from the current level finalized a year ago by the Obama administration.




Nevertheless, Dinneen remarked that the EPA could have done more.

The Iowa congressional delegation isn't entirely happy with the EPA's 2018 final fuel volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard program, but they say it'll have to do.

Today's announcement of the final 2018 Renewable Volume Obligation under the Renewable Fuel Standard is either pleasing or a missed opportunity, depending on your point of view. In a statement, Doug Whitehead, NBB's chief operating officer, said Pruitt "disappointed the biodiesel industry" with the 2.1 billion gallon figure. With starch-based biofuels remaining at full volumes, Americans will continue to benefit from cleaner air by replacing harmful cancer causing chemicals in gasoline, and stronger energy security by offering homegrown fuels that cost less. "We'll continue to work with this administration to right this wrong for future volumes". Moreover, he described the RFS as a solution in search of a problem.

The head of American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), meanwhile, called Thursday's announcement a win for the ethanol industry - and specifically for one of its key proponents in Congress.

"The EPA's announced renewable volume obligations fall short of the full potential of the USA biofuels industry", said Sen. "Again, the RFS should be implemented in a manner that drives investment and innovation to maximize the energy security, environmental, and consumer benefits that are derived from USA -produced biofuels". All comments are subject to editorial review.

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