Farm and biofuel groups are sounding the alarm over detailed reports that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning to announce major cuts to biofuel blending requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
“While a formal proposal has not been released, the expected standards would destroy a decade of progress on low-carbon biofuels and brazenly violate the promises that President Biden made to farmers, green voters, and his own allies in Congress,” said eight organizations in a statement Thursday.
The Renewable Fuels Association, Advanced Biofuels Business Council, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, Growth Energy, National Biodiesel Board, National Corn Growers Association, and National Farmers Union expressed concerns that the administration is “favoring the oil industry over the environment, rural communities, and hardworking farmers by providing handouts that eclipse those obtained by fossil fuel advocates under the previous administration.”
Multiple reports say EPA is poised to retroactively reduce the Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) for 2020 to 17.1 billion gallons, and set 2021 at 18.6 billion gallons and 2022 at 20.8 billion gallons. The document quoted by news sources indicates ethanol volumes would be reduced from the statutory cap of 15 billion gallons to 12.5 billion gallons for 2020, 13.5 billion gallons in 2021 and 14.1 billion gallons in 2022.
The organizations “urge the president to ensure the EPA avoids a mistake that would undermine the Biden-Harris administration’s relationship with farmers, biofuel producers, and climate advocates across rural America.”