EPA sets RFS volumes for 2020

EPA sets RFS volumes for 2020
Dec 23, 2019

President Trump hasn’t come through on a promise about biofuel, some farmers say

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced how much biofuel will be blended in 2020.

 “President Trump committed to our nation’s farmers that biofuel requirements would be expanded in 2020,” Andrew Wheeler, the EPA’s administrator, said in a Dec. 19 statement. “At the EPA we are delivering on that promise and ensuring a net of 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuel (corn ethanol) are blended into the nation’s fuel supply.”

However, the grain and ethanol industries aren’t satisfied with that level of production and how the EPA arrived at the total.

The agency’s ruling uses a three-year average of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) recommended waivers instead of actual gallons waived by the EPA.

The EPA granted 85 small refinery exemptions between 2016 and 2018, removing more than 4 billion gallons of biofuel from production.

“We’ll have to wait with bated breath until at least the spring of 2021 to see whether the EPA truly makes good on its promise to follow DOE recommendations on 2020” small refinery exemptions, Geoff Cooper, president of the Renewable Fuels Association, said in a Dec. 19 release.

Farm and ethanol groups also feel misled by the federal government.

In October, the EPA announced it would add gallons to biofuel production in 2020 to make up for the gallons lost to waivers.

“EPA’s blatant disregard for the law while issuing refinery waivers was appalling, so we really hoped the Administration was going to right this wrong,” Dan Nerud, president of the Nebraska Corn Board, told The Banner-Press on Sunday. “Fifteen billion gallons of conventional biofuel looks good on paper, but the EPA has shown us time and time again they can’t be trusted.

“This was not the deal President Trump promised us on Oct. 4. He said farmers were going to be very happy. We’re not happy.”

Farms.com has reached out to farmers for comment.

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