The Renewable Fuels Association responded to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s request for comment on its Agriculture Innovation Agenda (AIA). Regarding renewable fuels, the agenda calls for Increased biofuel feedstock production and biofuel production efficiency and competitiveness to achieve market-driven blend rates of E15 in 2030 and E30 in 2050.

“Not only will the AIA initiative’s Renewable Energy benchmarks, if achieved, stimulate long-term economic growth in rural America, they will also enhance sustainability, improve environmental quality, and provide lower costs and greater consumer choice at the pump,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “The AIA’s Renewable Energy goals are proactive and ambitious, and the USDA should be applauded for undertaking such a forward-looking initiative that provides clear benefits to American consumers.”

RFA’s response identified the following five opportunities for the industry:

  • Increasing productivity in crops and ethanol to meet volume requirements sustainably
  • Stimulating more demand and reducing more emissions from the current RFS policy
  • Facilitating greater demand from future policy
  • Continuing USDA infrastructure investments to expand biofuel deployment and sell higher blends
  • Adopting carbon capture, sequestration and utilization technologies

In addition, the association identified several roadblocks that need to be addressed by the federal government. This includes providing RVP (Reid Vapor Pressure) parity for all ethanol blends, removing or significantly revising E15 fuel survey requirements and labeling requirements, revising EPA’s lifecycle greenhouse gas analysis of corn ethanol, and eliminating registration and pathway certification barriers to cellulosic ethanol production from corn kernel fiber.

“RFA has worked had to build a bold, sustainability-driven vision for the future of agriculture and transportation, and through our membership, we have positioned ourselves to lead that effort as advocates,” Cooper said. “On behalf of the nation’s ethanol producers, we are fully committed to collaborating with USDA to sustainably increase the production and availability of renewable fuels to achieve nationwide average blend rates of E15 in 2030 and E30 in 2050.”