EPA’s Farm, Ranch and Rural Communities Advisory Committee is meeting virtually this week to provide policy advice, information, and recommendations on a range of environmental issues and policies important to agriculture and rural communities. Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper provided testimony on steps the EPA needs to take immediately to support U.S. ethanol producers and rural America.
Cooper outlined five areas where EPA action has been delayed and needs to move forward. Specifically, he called on the agency to:
– adopt the recent Tenth Circuit Court decision (Renewable Fuels Association et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency) nationwide;
– deny all pending so-called “gap year” small refinery exemption (SRE) petitions;
– decide the 31 pending SRE petitions for 2019 and 2020 according to the Tenth Circuit Court criteria;
– publish the proposed rule for 2021 renewable volume obligations (RVOs); and
– as ordered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in ACEI v. EPA, restore the 500-million-gallon conventional renewable fuel volume that was illegally waived from the 2016 RFS requirements.
Ethanol supporting members of the EPA advisory committee participating in this week’s meeting include RFA Board Member Bill Pracht of East Kansas Agri-Energy; Bill Couser, Couser Cattle Company, Iowa; and Jim Zook, Executive Director, Michigan Corn Growers.