Trump Administration Announces Plan to Take RFS Volumes Back to Fifteen Billion Gallons AnnuallyFri, 04 Oct 2019 10:07:58 CDT
Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue issued the following statements after President Donald J. Trump successfully negotiated an agreement on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS):
“President Trump’s leadership has led to an agreement that continues to promote domestic ethanol and biodiesel production, supporting our Nation’s farmers and providing greater energy security,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Today’s agreement is the latest in a series of steps we have taken to expand domestic energy production and improve the RFS program that will result in sustained biofuel production to help American farmers."
"President Trump has once again demonstrated that he is a champion for our nation's farmers and rural America," said USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. "The President recognizes that American farmers are the most productive in the world, and he has found a way to pursue policy that promotes economic growth and supports our producers. Building on the success of the year-round E15 rule, this forward-looking agreement makes improvements to the RFS program that will better harness the production of our farmers and ensure America remains energy dominant.”
Under this agreement, the following actions will be undertaken by EPA and USDA:
· In a forthcoming supplemental notice building off the recently proposed 2020 Renewable Volume Standards and the Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2021, EPA will propose and request public comment on expanding biofuel requirements beginning in 2020.
· EPA will seek comment on actions to ensure that more than 15 billion gallons of conventional ethanol be blended into the nation’s fuel supply beginning in 2020, and that the volume obligation for biomass-based diesel is met. This will include accounting for relief expected to be provided for small refineries.
· EPA intends to take final action on this front later this year.
· In the most recent compliance year, EPA granted 31 small refinery exemptions.
· Building on the President’s earlier decision to allow year-round sales of E15, EPA will initiate a rulemaking process to streamline labeling and remove other barriers to the sale of E15.
· EPA will continue to evaluate options for RIN market transparency and reform.
· USDA will seek opportunities through the budget process to consider infrastructure projects to facilitate higher biofuel blends.
· The Administration will continue to work to address ethanol and biodiesel trade issues.
Corn Belt Lawmakers are pleased with the plan to help ethanol. “This is great news for Iowa and rural America. President Trump is following through on his commitment to our nation’s hardworking farmers and biofuels producers. The RFS is essential to the livelihoods of folks across our state, which is why I’ve been fighting tirelessly on behalf of Iowa’s farmers and producers every step of the way and making Iowans’ voices heard throughout this process,” said Senator Joni Ernst (IA). “Our message was clear: uphold the RFS-15 billion means 15 billion. The president heard that message and has acted on it. The steps outlined today by the administration will help increase demand for our biofuels, provide certainty for farmers and producers for years to come, and ensure that EPA is implementing the RFS as it was written.”
“In my discussions with the president, I fought hard for a fair deal for Nebraska’s farmers and ethanol producers,” said Senator Deb Fischer (NE). “I thank the president for following through on his commitment to rural America. Today’s announcement means more certainty for families, businesses, and communities across the Good Life.”
AND- in a Joint Statement from the National Corn Growers Association, the American Soybean Association, Growth Energy, the Renewable Fuels Association, the National Biodiesel Board, and Fuels America:
“We thank President Trump for today’s announcement, which shows that the voices of farm families and biofuel producers are being heard in Washington. Efforts to restore hope for rural communities cannot come soon enough, and we will continue to work closely on that process with our elected champions and this White House until a plan is finalized and gallons start flowing again. The EPA must uphold the president’s commitment to restore demand, based on a 3-year average of all the exempted gallons, beginning with the 2020 biofuel standards.”
Background on the Renewable Fuel Standard: Congress passed the renewable fuel standard (RFS) program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and expand the nation’s renewable fuels sector while reducing reliance on imported oil. This program was authorized under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and expanded under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. In addition to the goals of increasing production of home-grown renewable fuels, the program supports domestic demand for farm commodities, increases farm income, and creates rural jobs.
Source- EPA and USDA
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