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EPA Seeks to Boost Biofuels Mandate

Overall mandate under RFS would be 19.88B gallons in 2019

File Photo
File Photo

The Trump administration is proposing to modestly increase the amount of ethanol and other biofuels that the nation’s oil refiners have to blend into the gasoline and diesel they sell, reports The Hill.

Under the proposal released Tuesday by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the overall biofuel mandate under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) would be 19.88 billion gallons in 2019, a 3.1% increase over the 2018 levels.

“While EPA says it is proposing to maintain the 15-billion gallon conventional blending target for 2019, in reality Administrator Pruitt’s ongoing actions will reduce ethanol blending far below 15 billion gallons," says Brian Jennings, American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO. "This is a missed opportunity to reallocate the 1.5 billion gallons Administrator Pruitt has waived through Small Refinery Exemptions and to restore the 500 million gallon shortfall the D.C. Circuit Court ordered EPA to deal with following the Americans for Clean Energy et al v. EPA lawsuit."

Jennings says Pruitt continues to disregard President Trump’s campaign promise that the EPA should ensure that biofuel blend levels match the statutory level set by Congress under the RFS.

"The 2019 proposed RVOs reinforce our decision to challenge certain small refinery exemptions in court and to petition EPA to account for lost volumes of renewable fuel resulting from the unprecedented number of retroactive small refinery exemptions granted by the agency," he says. “The proposal to modestly increase cellulosic and advanced RVOs for 2019 is welcome but EPA’s waivers and exemptions have collapsed RIN prices across-the-board discouraging investment in the production and use of cellulosic and advanced biofuels."

“A strong rural economy depends upon growing the use of renewable fuels," Jennings concludes.

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