WASHINGTON – Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its proposed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) renewable volume obligations (RVOs) for 2018. The agency proposed a total renewable fuel volume of 19.24 billion gallons (BG), of which 4.24 BG is advanced biofuel, including 238 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel. That leaves a 15 BG requirement for conventional renewable fuels like corn ethanol. RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen had the following statement:
“We are pleased EPA is proposing to maintain the conventional biofuel requirement at the 15 billion gallon level required by the statute, just as EPA finalized in its 2017 RVO. Consumers only see the full benefits of the RFS when EPA implements the policy as intended by Congress. By staying the course and maintaining a strong RFS, consumers will continue to benefit from the policy, including a greater choice at the pump, while breathing cleaner air and seeing a boost to local economies.
“By maintaining the 15 billion gallon level for corn ethanol, the rule will also help to drive more investment in infrastructure to accommodate higher ethanol blends. The RFS is a vital policy and we encourage EPA to finalize this rule as quickly as possible and certainly in time to meet the statutory deadline of Nov. 30.
“RFA recently issued an analysis of the RFS since its first adoption in 2005, finding that ‘by any objective measure, the RFS has been a tremendous success.’ Thanks to the RFS, ethanol production has grown, corn production has increased, U.S. petroleum net import dependence has dropped and ethanol’s role in cleaning the air has increased.
“It is important that the RFS continue to drive investment in new advanced and cellulosic biofuel technologies. We are concerned that by reducing the cellulosic RVO, this proposal may weaken the signal to the marketplace and we want to better understand EPA’s methodology. With many current ethanol producers investing in bolt-on technologies to produce cellulosic ethanol from existing facilities, we want to ensure that the final 2018 RVO continues to grow the market for cellulosic biofuels. Still, we believe EPA’s proposal continues our nation on the path of further success for the program and ensures the future growth of ethanol, the cleanest, lowest cost and highest source of octane on the planet.”