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More must be done to address lost demand for renewable fuels

27 June 2018, at 12:00am

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today proposed increasing the renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by 3 percent in 2019, from 19.29 billion gallons to 19.88 billion gallons

The proposal would maintain the current 15-million-gallon target for corn ethanol and increase cellulosic and advanced biofuel requirements by 100 million gallons and 600 million gallons, respectively.

Rob Larew, National Farmers Union (NFU) Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Communications, was encouraged by the volume increase but expressed concern about the fact that it does not address the misappropriation of “hardship waivers,” which has reduced the volume of renewable fuels in the transportation sector by as much as 1.6 billion gallons.

Larew issued the following statement in response to the proposal:

"It is promising that the EPA is planning to increase the volume of American grown and produced fuels in our transportation sector. However, the proposal does not do enough to account for the demand destruction of over a billion gallons of renewable fuels. The EPA should cease granting these waivers to prevent additional harm to the RFS. The agency must also find ways to reallocate gallons lost to the waivers or account for those gallons in the finalised RVOs in order to make up for harm already done.

“Additionally, the administration should look for ways to implement higher level blends of ethanol, such as E30, which expand markets for family farmers, boost rural economies, improve air quality, and lower fuel prices for consumers.”

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