The EPA comment period for the 2017 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) are open and biofuel supporters are rallying for support in calling for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to increase the amount of biofuels, especially first generation biofuels that include corn-based ethanol. Thursday, June 9, 2016, the EPA is hosting a hearing in Kansas City and marks an opportunity for biofuel boosters to deliver their message. The comment period also includes the proposed rules for 2018 specifically for the advanced biofuels category that includes biodiesel.
“America can’t achieve its climate, health or economic ambitions without renewable fuels. Among the most powerful tools we’ve got in achieving those ambitions is the Renewable Fuel Standard – as long as it’s allowed to work,” said Adam Monroe, America Regional President, Novozymes North America. “We urge anyone who’s benefited from the renewable fuel industry to speak out – and urge the Administration to listen to those voices and maximize renewable fuel production.”
While the 2017 RVOs saw a slight increase over 2016 volumes, for all categories of biofuels, they still remain under what is required by statute as determined back in 2007 when the renewable fuels legislation was signed into law. The biofuel industry, across the board, is calling for volumes to get back on track and be raised to statutory levels.
Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) noted, “The proposed targets fall short of the statutory levels set by Congress. Consumers know that having only one choice at the pump – fossil fuels – is a vestige of outdated thinking and poor policy decisions. We must aim higher to protect the economic, environmental and energy security benefits of America’s most successful clean energy program.”
“Consumers who care about having affordable options and a choice at the gas pump can get in on the action by contacting the EPA and asking their lawmakers to support a strong RFS,” added Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. “Policymakers need to be reminded that ethanol producers, retailers and the current auto fleet are fully capable of accepting the statutory volumes as called for by Congress, providing consumers with a true choice and savings at the pump.”
Supporters are urged to testify at the EPA field hearing – and must register in advance to speak – or submit comments to the EPA by July 11, when regulators start writing a final rule.