Ethanol Blog

Biofuels Caucus Tells Pruitt to set RFS Volumes Higher

Todd Neeley
By  Todd Neeley , DTN Staff Reporter
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The so-called Congressional Biofuels Caucus of 22 bipartisan members of the U.S. House of Representatives has thrown its hat in the ring that has been an outcry against proposals by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to change the Renewable Fuel Standard, asking EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in a letter Wednesday to halt the proposals.

In the past couple of weeks there has been a flurry of Midwest lawmakers, biofuels groups and others calling out the EPA for two proposals that are said to be harmful to the biofuels industry.

The EPA announced in a notice a proposal to further reduce the renewable volume blend requirements for advanced biofuels, biomass-based diesel volumes for 2018 and 2019, and the total renewable fuel volumes in the RFS.

EPA also is reportedly considering a proposal from Valero Energy to leave renewable identification numbers, or RINs, attached to U.S. ethanol gallons produced in the U.S. and exported. Currently, the credits are removed from exported gallons. The biofuels industry is concerned that doing so would flood the market with RINs and harm domestic biofuel producers.

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On Wednesday, Republican Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced during a news conference that she received phone calls from President Donald Trump and Pruitt, offering reassurance that they are committed to the RFS.

"Reductions in volume obligations would be devastating to the industry and the jobs it supports," the letter said.

"Our domestic biofuels industry diversifies our fuel supply sector which proved helpful during the recent Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma disasters. Our farmers and biofuels producers need greater certainty from the EPA when it comes to setting RVO standards for upcoming years, and the proposals discovered in the NODA and reports only create unnecessary angst."

The members of Congress signing the letter are led by Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minnesota, and Rep. Kristi Noem, R-South Dakota.

"We write to urge the Environmental Protection Agency to formulate a more robust final rule regarding the volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard," the letter said.

"This includes advanced biofuel, cellulosic biofuels, and total renewable fuel for calendar year 2018, and biomass-based diesel standards for calendar year 2019."

Read the letter here: http://bit.ly/…

Todd Neeley can be reached at todd.neeley@dtn.com

Follow me on Twitter @toddneeleyDTN

(CZ)

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