Tepid reaction to EPA biofuel numbers

02 December, 2017, 00:33 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Tepid reaction to EPA biofuel numbers

Advanced biofuel is set for 4.29 billion gallons, including 288 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel.

"Unfortunately, this final rule fails to recognize the enormous opportunity before us to harness our nation's vast cellulosic resources for higher performing and lower cost fuels".

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday (Thursday, 30 November) announced that it is mandating the statutory maximum 15 billion gallons of ethanol be added to the domestic fuel supply in 2018, the second consecutive year EPA has mandated the maximum amount of ethanol allowed under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

"These flat volumes will harm Americans across several job-creating sectors - be they farmers, grease collectors, crushers, biodiesel producers or truckers - as well as consumers", said Doug Whitehead, chief operating officer for the NBB. Meanwhile, biomass-based biodiesel was set at 2.1 billion gallons for 2019, which represented no increase over the previous amount.

This has been a tumultuous year for the biofuels industry, and for Midwest Republicans who backed President Donald Trump.

"I am disappointed that the volume requirement for biomass-based biodiesel is only 2.1 billion gallons when we can produce much more", King said.

"These volumes are important for setting a baseline - and our industry will again surpass these low expectations - but the failure to increase volumes will inhibit continued growth and investments", the association said. "We will work with the Administration and EPA going forward to restore growing biofuel targets that will spur innovation in rural communities". Corn producers are relieved at a small uptick in renewable fuel requirements, while biodiesel producers say the EPA did not listen to their plea.

"Administrator Pruitt, therefore, faces the daunting task of implementing a broken program that was based on incorrect assumptions made over a decade ago", Macchiarola said in a statement.

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen called the final figures "a marked improvement" and encouraged the EPA to keep an eye out for advancements in cellulosic biofuel production, "because we believe greater cellulosic production is likely". Ernst tells KMA News she was particularly disappointed in the biodiesel levels. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, threatened to block a key EPA appointee. American Coalition for Ethanol CEO Brian Jennings says, "ACE members are very pleased" that EPA set the RVO for ethanol at the statutory level of 15-billion gallons, as other industry groups applauded the announcement.

Grassley, Ernst, King, Young, and Loebsack all ended their statements with an emphasis on their continued commitment to advocating for and defending the Renewable Fuel Standard and the US biofuel industry.



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