Brian Jennings, Executive Vice President of the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), issued the following statement on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) proposed Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) for the 2018 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
“ACE is grateful EPA is proposing to maintain the 15-billion-gallon conventional biofuel blending requirement for 2018. This issue is of paramount importance to America’s farmers—who are reeling from oversupplies and low prices—and the rural communities that depend upon a strong farm economy.
“Given the delay in issuing the proposal, it is imperative that Administrator Pruitt ensures the process moves forward in a timely manner to meet the final rule publishing date of November 30. We are grateful EPA will hold a public hearing on the proposal and urge the agency to expedite the process of finalizing strong blending targets to help restore confidence to the rural economy and reassure retailers that it makes sense to offer E15 and flex fuels like E30 and E85 to their customers.
“The RFS is meant to drive increasing levels of domestic biofuel production and use, and we are encouraged EPA is taking a hard look at whether Brazilian sugarcane ethanol should continue to be preferentially treated under the RFS in a manner that displaces lower carbon, domestically produced corn ethanol in the marketplace. We urge the agency to take advantage of the comment period to fine tune the cellulosic and advanced blending targets so further investment can be made in domestic cellulosic and advanced biofuel facilities.
“Finally, as stated many times before, ACE strongly opposes EPA’s previous misapplication of the RFS general waiver authority to use so-called ‘infrastructure constraints’ as an excuse to ride the brakes on RVOs. That is why we are petitioners in Americans for Clean Energy et al. vs. EPA, a lawsuit pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. We are encouraged by the oral arguments made about this case in April and look forward to the court deciding in our favor soon,” Jennings concluded.