EPA proposes increase in RFS for 2017; still below Congressional levels

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing the Renewable Fuels Standard renewable volume obligations for 2017 at 18.8 billion gallons of renewable fuels with 14.8 billion gallons from corn ethanol.

This is 700 million gallons above the 2016 levels, but 5.2 billion gallons below the statutory numbers established in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act. The Renewable Fuels Association says, “For months, EPA has been saying it plans to put the program ‘back on track.’ Today’s proposal fails to do that. The agency continues to cater to the oil industry by relying upon an illegal interpretation of its waiver authority and concern over a blend wall that the oil industry itself is creating. As a consequence, consumers are being denied higher octane, lower cost renewable fuels. Investments in new technology and advanced biofuels will continue to languish and greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles will be unnecessarily higher.”

The National Chicken Council says, “The unrealistic volume for ethanol proposed today by the EPA ensures that the chicken industry, as well as all of animal agriculture, remains only one flood, freeze or drought away from another crisis.”

The EPA will host a public hearing on the proposal on June 9 in Kansas City, Mo. The deadline for public comments is July 11.

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