Industry Preparing for August 1 EPA Hearing

Cindy Zimmerman

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a public hearing in Washington, DC on Tuesday, August 1 for the recently released proposed rule for volume levels of ethanol and biodiesel under the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2018 and 2019.

As with previous RFS hearings, all of the major stakeholders are planning to attend and let EPA know what they like and don’t like in the proposed volume obligations. During an appearance on E&E’s OnPoint Thursday, Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen said they are pleased that the proposal maintains the 15 billion gallons for the corn ethanol biofuels category, but they do believe the industry is capable of producing more advanced biofuels than the reduced amount EPA is proposing.

“This reduces the number from 311 million gallons for cellulosic last year to 238 million gallons, but only 17 million gallons is assumed to be cellulosic ethanol,” said Dinneen. This assumes no growth at all in cellulosic ethanol from existing facilities with corn fiber technology, but Dinneen says more plants are planning expansions based on that new technology.

“I think we’ve got to better understand where EPA is coming from and better educate them as to the potential for growth….and I think that there’s still some room before a final rule to educate them as to what the potential truly is,” said Dinneen.

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