Biodiesel Industry Disappointed With RFS Volumes Set by EPA

Dec 02, 2017, 00:37
Biodiesel Industry Disappointed With RFS Volumes Set by EPA

"The biofuels industry will rise or fall together, and thus we are disappointed the final rule is not more aggressive with regard to other advanced biofuels such as biodiesel", RFA President Bob Dinneen said in a statement.

Opinions were divided on levels the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set for usage of renewable fuel in 2018 under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) program.

"We applaud the administration for standing up against efforts to destabilize the Renewable Fuel Standard", Skor said. Chet Thompson, President and CEO of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, said EPA did "exactly what Senator Grassley demanded, bowing the knee to King Corn". Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said the final numbers "fall short of the full potential of the US biofuels industry".

American Soybean Association President Ron Moore said failing to increase the biodiesel RVO "continues to be a missed opportunity to capitalize on a valuable market for soybean oil", and that EPA should "take another look at biodiesel and the value US soybean farmers bring to the domestic energy discussion".

The proposed numbers were 19.24 billion gallons of total renewable fuel and 2.1 billion gallons for biomass-based biodiesel.

The Renewable Fuel Standard was intended by Congress to promote growth in the production of biofuels in the USA, but Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, said Thursday's final rule has the EPA turning its backs on farmers and rural communities that would have benefited from greater volume requirement increases.

"Moving forward, we ask EPA to revisit the growth in cellulosic fuel production, particularly as first-generation ethanol producers expand cellulosic gallons made from feedstocks such as corn kernel fiber", Skunes said. As a result, the proposal drew criticism and disapproval from many in Congress, Iowa's members included.

Grassley and Sen. Joni Ernst, the junior Republican from Iowa, were among several midwest lawmakers who threatened to hold up Trump's EPA nominees if he scaled back the Renewable Fuel Standard. Advanced biofuels and cellulosic ethanol were increased to 4.29 billion gallons; however, the 2018 biodiesel levels are being criticized because they were only boosted by 33 million gallons.

In a Thursday press release from his office, Rep. David Young, R-Iowa, said the EPA's final rule is an improvement from its July proposal but still leaves something to be desired. The agency noted that the final renewable fuel standards for 2018 and biomass-based diesel volumes for 2019 differ slightly from the limits it proposed earlier this year.

Even as officials expressed disappointment with the new advanced biofuel levels Thursday, they still praised the administration for upholding ethanol amounts and backing off the potential structural changes.